I am writing out of frustration. After 19 years in public service at the Cobb County Commission and the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, I have never opined on community issues. I have been asked a number of times about different issues, but have always stated that when I leave something I don’t look back or attempt to have influence that is better left to those currently in those same positions of leadership. But when innocent 6- and 7-year-old babies are the victims, it is time to speak.
I cannot remain silent on this recent tragedy. Some folks are regurgitating the same mantra that “People kill people, guns don’t kill people.” And that there is no reason to address our current gun laws. To me this is absurd.
Being politically conservative I certainly agree with the citizens’ right to bear arms. However, to take the hard line position that this should include all guns, including automatic rifles such as the AK-47, is ludicrous.
I have heard and read two opinions on this particular aspect of the debate. One expert on Fox News stated the obvious when he said such weapons were originally developed for “military purposes.” Enough said! That fact speaks volumes.
The second statement came from an interview in a USA Today article on 12/18 with rocker, avid hunter and NRA Board member, Ted Nugent. Mr. Nugent is paraphrased as having said that “… he hunted before he began playing the guitar.” My immediate thought was to ask him if he ever hunted with an AK-47. I am reasonably certain that I know the answer. No sportsman would ever use such a weapon.
There is absolutely no defensible rationale for allowing these automatic killing machines to be sold to the general public. This is not a constitutional issue of the “right of our citizens to bear arms.” That right is inviolate. We can have a discussion of better standards for checking applicants vis-à-vis mental health issues, etc.
However, a very positive first step would be to remove the high-powered automatic weapons from the potential arsenal of anyone, no matter their mental state.
Thank you for listening. There comes a time one is obligated to speak up.
Editor’s note: Mr. Cooper represented west Cobb on the Board of Commissioners and later was president of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce. He is a retired airline and military pilot.