CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- I was again reminded of that tragic day last December in Connecticut when our President powerfully stated in his State of the Union address: "Newtown deserves a vote."
Every now and then I reflect on Newtown as I drop my son off to day care; see his adorable classmates; meet their wonderful parents; and speak with their devoted teachers and staff. I cannot imagine the grief suffered by the parents of the Newtown victims, and I cannot conceive of the anger I would experience if our elected officials decided not to act on behalf of a child lost.
It is with these emotions and reason that I find the current gun safety debate sometimes bizarre and misinformed. How is it that anyone would oppose universal background checks for those who purchase firearms?
Such a measure is common sense and constitutional. We all already submit to background checks of some form or another when we board planes or renew our driver's license. Yet, I don't hear anyone suggesting for a second that such a requirement is unconstitutional or excessive.
In this regard, I applaud Sen. Manchin's efforts in the U.S. Senate in pursuing legislation that requires background checks for purchasers of firearms.
Additionally, there simply is no justification for the sale and purchase of magazines that can hold and fire several multiple rounds of ammunition over very few seconds. I come from a long line of hunters, and I've never known or heard of anyone to have required 30 rounds of ammunition to take down deer, bear or boar.
Further, neither are numerous rounds necessary to protect home and hearth. To believe otherwise is to accept as fact the fantasy of movies and films. In truth, the only feasible purpose for such power is to wreak havoc and kill as many people as possible in the shortest period of time.
Certainly, our forefathers in their wisdom did not author the Second Amendment with the intention of bestowing upon every citizen the power to devastate en mass schools, neighborhoods and communities. Therefore, reasonable limitations on the amount of ammunition discharged in quick sequence are common sense, and have the advantage of being constitutional.
Finally, these aforementioned measures need to be pursued nationally, not just regionally or by state. Otherwise, those who intend to do harm can purchase their means to do so in one state, and carry out their misguided nightmares in another. This reality routinely takes place today on the streets of Chicago where it is unlawful to sell guns within city limits, yet guns, because they are purchased elsewhere, get into the hands of murderers and criminals without oversight or interest.
So, on behalf of Blacksburg, Aurora and Newtown, please take a moment to contact your local, state and national elected officials including, Congresswoman Capito, and press upon them the need for common sense and constitutional consideration and action on the issue of gun safety. Remember, our local state and national governments are charged first and foremost with protecting the public and maintaining the peace. This responsibility is no greater than when it applies to our weak, innocent and young. Newtown deserves a vote.Lindsay is a lawyer with Tabor Lindsay & Associates in Charleston.