A discussion on how to reduce gun violence in the United States:
I read with interest "Gun rights with responsibilities" by Ken Trainor, et al [Viewpoints, Dec. 4]. I didn't know I had not signed onto this statement until I read so at the end of the article. (One of the reasons is that I never saw the finished version and didn't know it would appear in Wednesday Journal.)
I learned a lot from the meetings of the Gun Rights and Responsibilities Commission (GRRC) and appreciate very much the time spent by the Ken Trainor, et al subcommittee.
The GRRC started as Gun Grabbers vs. Gun Owners, became the GRRC and at the end would be most appropriately called Oak Parkers for Reducing Gun Violence (OPRGV) and Ken Trainor, et al.
Over the months of discussion, we realized that the point of gun control is reducing gun violence while Ken Trainor, et al remained focused on the Holy Trinity of Modern Gun Control — the assault weapons ban, the 10-round magazine capacity limit and universal background checks for all firearms transfers.
We were in unanimous agreement on the main issue with respect to gun violence — guns should be kept away from criminals, the dangerously mentally ill, children and the suicidal.
We disagreed on how to do so.
We also disagreed on the use of firearms by civilians for self-defense.
The members of Ken Trainor, et al had little training in the safe handling of firearms, do not shoot guns, do not wish to use guns for self-defense and in one case was scared of guns. OPRGV has no problem with this.
The members of OPRGV know how to safely handle firearms, do shoot guns, will use guns in self-defense, and, in some instances, have actually used guns to defend themselves.
The sticking point is that Ken Trainor, et al do not want others to possess guns or use them in self-defense. The OPRGV has a problem with this.
Since Ken Trainor, et al has begun this public discussion, each week a member of OPRGV will address one of the many issues brought up in Ken Trainor, et al's wide-ranging viewpoint.
Having met Mr. Trainor and et al in the course of the meetings, I know that they all welcome open discourse even when everyone does not agree with them.
John Peder Erickson
Editor's note: John Erickson and the rest of the Rights Subcommittee of the Gun Rights and Responsibilities Commission were well acquainted with previous versions of the report that appeared in last week's Viewpoints and were informed in advance that the final version would be published.