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Many people have voiced confusion as to why gun owners refuse to accept a connection between the availability of combat rifles to the public and the increasing number of mass shooter events. It might have to do with how you view freedom, liberty, and even choice.

It goes something like this: the right believes in individual liberty while the left believes in communal liberty. The right believes that these tragedies are the result of one single person who is committed to performing an evil act with whatever "tools" they had available to them, while the left believes society has enabled these acts to happen via allowing "military grade" weapons on the civilian market with few strings attached.

Adam Lanza, Nikolas Cruz, etc., would have carried out their intentions regardless of what implements they had available to them. (Sarcasm alert!) Can't buy a rifle that has a magazine that can be quickly changed out? Well then, how about a truckload of ammonium nitrate? Or just rent a pickup and recreate your favorite scene from the cult classic, “Death Race 2000!” (End of sarcasm.)

The availability of certain types of weapons is irrelevant to them. It's not even part of the equation. People, not things, do harm because ultimately evil will always find a way. While we where stunned by Sandy Hook, in China a man stabbed 50 children. The difference between the two events? Not one Chinese child died. But for the right that's beside the point. An evil act was committed, and force can only be stopped with greater force, not legislation.

Greg Ranzoni

Albany (Feb. 14)

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