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Posted: Monday, December 17, 2012 12:08 am

Letter to the Editor

Dec. 14, 2012

To the editor:

My heart and thoughts go out to all of those whose lives were cut short in the massacre in Connecticut. Nobody should have to lose their lives or their loved ones because of the ravings of a single maniacal person.

We can expect to hear rhetoric and debate in the coming weeks about gun control regulations. Whatever your personal outlook may be on the matter, we should acknowledge that something needs to be done.

 To help reduce the possibility of a similar tragedy, the citizens of Alaska should begin thinking about implementing some firearm regulations, especially on assault weapons. These are characterized by “military-style” features on both automatic and semi-automatic firearms.

Alaska has some of the most lenient gun regulations in the country; there is no state permit, registration or gun license required to buy or own a firearm. Additionally, there is no law prohibiting or even regulating assault weapons or concealed firearms.

Though guns may often be essential to Alaskan life, there should be a limit. No civilian needs a fully automatic weapon or a magazine that can hold an excessive number of rounds. I’m not calling for the termination of the Second Amendment, I am merely asking for Alaskans to recognize the lack of regulation on firearms. Reconsidering the need for the sale or possession of assault weapons would be one step in the right direction for the safety of ourselves and our community.

Additionally, implementing a statewide gun registration program with the owner undergoing background checks and fingerprinting would enable safer regulation of firearms, and would help with the investigation process of gun-related crime.

No single firearm regulation can prevent massacres like the one in Connecticut. However, it is one additional factor that will make it more difficult for someone to commit such a heinous crime.

While the Second Amendment is a constitutional right, it also comes with civic responsibility. Those few extra steps required to register a gun could enable a child to grow up and experience life, and reassure millions of worried parents around the country. 

Mikko Sayre

Fairbanks

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