License to carry is a license to kill

License to carry is a license to kill

What emerged from the National Rifle Association convention in Houston is that organization's declaration of war against American government and its president.

What Wayne LaPierre emphatically asserts is the unrestricted right of any American who has not previously been convicted of a violent crime to kill any person who he or she believes to be a threat. That is the policy position that LaPierre and his organization assert in Houston; before the Congress and the Supreme Court in Washington; and the Illinois Legislature in Springfield.

The right to conceal a loaded handgun about your person implies the right to use that weapon for the purpose for which it was designed — to kill another human being. The NRA and LaPierre would constitute every American handgun owner as the judge, jury and executioner of every person by whom the gun owner might feel threatened.

Who is to decide that inevitable question of life and death? Not a court dispassionately weighing the evidence but rather the man with the gun in his hand. Who is to decide whether the man with his finger on the trigger reasonably feared death or great bodily harm? Not a jury hearing testimony from a witness stand, but the man on the street with a gun in his hand. The right they seek to protect is the right to kill and to enjoy the profits generated by the manufacture and sale of the weapons that do the killing.

KEITH HAYS

Champaign

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