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  • LETTER AT LENGTH

    Letter at Length

  • Law would restrict citizens, not guns
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  • Law would restrict citizens, not guns
    A recent online petition is asking the city to adopt what the petitioners call "sensible limits on firearms." Firearms are inanimate objects and it seems to me the limits are being placed on law-abiding citizens.
    Since criminals don't typically carry their firearms openly and also don't seem to obey the laws that are already in place, how will this new ordinance make Ashland safer? Especially for children?
    Could this ordinance possibly do the exact opposite by sending a message to criminals around the valley that Ashlanders have been disarmed and most likely can't defend themselves?
    The other part of the petition would require that all guns in Ashland be stored in a locked safe or with a gun lock installed. I think this is common sense and most people already store their guns this way, but how someone chooses to store anything in their own home is their right and if the way they choose to store something results in a fatality or injury the said person will most likely be held responsible for any negligence.
    According to the petitioners, other cities have adopted similar policies. This is probably true, but in response to real problems like gangs, drug-related crimes and densely populated areas with vast class disparity. That doesn't sound like Ashland. Is gun crime a problem here? Has it ever been?
    This petition seems more like just another feel-good way for an elite few to maintain Ashland's image as a liberal, bourgeois society of upper-class elitists, and has nothing to do with common sense or public safety. For those of us that were raised around guns, own, understand and respect them and see them as just another inanimate object that can be used or misused for multiple tasks, these proposed ordinances are silly and do nothing to address a problem that does not exist.
    We all don't like to see certain things we don't understand or fear. But that doesn't give us the right to take those things away from others.
    Remember, statistically most gun violence occurs in "gun-free zones." Maybe the fact Ashland isn't a gun-free zone explains the complete lack of gun violence here!
    Tom Shemp
    Ashland
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