First, I support the 2nd Amendment. I believe in our right to own guns. I own a gun. I also believe that we should be making common sense efforts to curb gun violence. These ideas are not mutually exclusive. We can have laws and resolutions that protect gun owners’ rights and also keep guns out of the hands of dangerous and mentally unstable people.

What’s wrong with universal background checks before you buy a firearm? If someone is in a mental health crisis and threatening others or is suicidal, shouldn’t their guns be removed temporarily? What’s wrong with a limit on buying several guns on one day? What’s the hurry unless you’re up to something bad?

We have had common sense gun laws in the past. We had a National Assault Rifle Ban from 1994-2004. There were mass shootings during that time. They did not kill as many people as has happened since. During that time, if you owned rifles, shotguns and handguns in multiple numbers, you did not have a problem. Nobody took your gun away.

After the El Paso shooting this year, President Donald Trump and Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) said they would support Background Checks and Red Flag laws, yet nothing has happened.

So, when I hear Paula Perry and Todd McNeil and the other Ashe County commissioners say that we need to send a message to Washington and Raleigh about gun rights, I would like to know what that message is.

As Donna Apple pointed out at the meeting, it also sends a message to potential businesses coming to Ashe County that might not be so interested in a county that won’t consider common sense gun laws.

This all seems very political. I listened to all the talk about hunting and fishing and everyone who had a gun growing up — so what? That’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about stopping violence in our schools and public places. Let’s have a real conversation on what we can do to fix this.

Now, what about health care and public education?

Ralph Sorrell

West Jefferson

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