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Guest opinion

Automatic & semi-auto weapons belong in war not neighborhoods

Those who have been trained in the infantry or served in combat know powerful weapons are designed for just one thing — killing, as fast and as many people as possible.

As a person who spent a year of his life learning how to kill people as an Army infantry officer, I know these weapons are dangerous to us and to the "enemy" (whoever is unfortunate enough to be called the enemy).

Whether it is an automatic or semi-automatic pistol or rifle, these weapons are used for spraying bullets at human beings like you can spray water all over a yard with a hose.

My experience at U.S. forts and in South Korea in 1969-70, was all weapons were kept locked in armories. Even on guard duty, soldiers were given weapons but not bullets. Suicide, soldiers shooting soldiers in anger, or plain accidents happen. Result the military locks up all weapons and only specific sergeants and officers in a unit have the keys to the armory.

The only Americans in our neighborhoods who need semi-automatic or machine guns or pistols are law enforcement. Any man or woman thinking they need such weapons for protection is fooling themselves. The powerful bullets spray far beyond the person or persons being shot at. The bullets go thru the people shot, thru walls and go on to possibly kill neighbors, family members or people driving by.

These gun tragedies do not happen like this in other nations with strict weapons control laws. (And also better mental health services).

Why is this happening in America?

Because we have the best government money can buy. And most of our politicians have been bought! Our politicians fear the NRA more than they fear the dictators of China, Russia and other dictatorships.

As often happens, the young lead us adults. The high schoolers are right. Ban selling, trading and possessing such weapons. Pass a national law, give everyone who possesses such weapons a grace period to turn them in, track down all the sales via the paper trail and prosecute those who do not voluntarily turn in such weapons.

But first we need a new Congress. "Bought" politicians cannot learn new tricks. They must be shown the exit via the ballot box November 6!

We need the youth in America to repeat a thousand times to us: "We Will Remember in November – right Mom? No war weapons in our neighborhoods and schools! – right Dad? We're going to vote for candidates who promise "No War No More" in our neighborhoods and schools, right Grampa? Can I go with you to the polls, Grandma?"

Buzz Davis, formerly of Stoughton, Wisc., now of Tucson, is a longtime progressive activist, a member of Veterans for Peace and a former VISTA Volunteer, Army officer, elected official, union organizer, impeachment organizer, former Exec.VP of WI Alliance for Retired Americans and a retired state government planner.

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