I am reading Mr. Rick Siegert's letter (Mailbag, Dec 5) and pondering how the expiration of the 1996 ban on semi-automatic "assault weapons" has resulted in recent weekly mass shootings. (It didn't, the law expired in 2004, 13 years ago.)

It is difficult to explain to a non gun person how the knowledge of firearms "facts" gleaned from some other biased sources is so wrong. This is an example: During those years of the assault rifle ban, you could legally and readily buy the exact rifle with the full functionality, the same look, and exact caliber, the same large magazines, and the same exact bullets as are available now. Minor changes, like no flash suppressor, were enough to allow buying of the rifle. And many already had one grandfathered in.

Ask any knowledgeable gun owner and shooting person, don't rely on the misinformation from anti-gun sources who have no knowledge of guns whatsoever. Please get some correct information. Go to a gun show, you will see what law-abiding gun folks look like.

Meanwhile, semi-automatic rifles have been around for 75 years without mass murders like we see now.

A reasonable person would look at different influences now: a lot on ADHD drugs (research kids who did school shootings), an abundance of filth-laden music, terrorism, endless violent games, TV and movies, and mind-numbing coverage of every evil act from the news, and many music and Hollywood personalities' lack of decency.

A lack of morals and discipline compared to the past, no prayer allowed in so many venues, yet profanity unbounded and encouraged.

It isn't guns, it is a few really bad people.

 Gary Hartman

Lebanon (Dec. 5)

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