A Sept. 30 article stated that "600,000 machine guns, Uzi pistols and even an anti-aircraft gun have been turned in under an amnesty program to rid Australia of automatic weapons." This makes it seem as if Australia was overrun with these types of fully automatic firearms.
The accompanying pictures tell a very different story. I did not see any guns in this pile except shotguns, both pump and semiautomatic, and .22-caliber semiauto rifles. These are the same firearms that all of us who hunt waterfowl or upland game own and use peaceably all the time. These are not illegal machine guns.We Americans have one thing the Australians do not, the Bill of Rights. These guarantee us freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure and the right to bear arms.
We are at risk of losing all of these rights we hold so dear. The Second Amendment (the right to bear arms) is under attack. The Clinton administration, Sarah Brady, Handgun Control Inc., and others have been chipping away at our rights. Now, as in Australia, the Centers for Disease Control is making gun ownership a health issue instead of a crime issue.
It is ironic that this comes at the time that recent government statistics show that accidental deaths and injuries are the lowest in decades. I also find it incongruent that they want gun owners to register their firearms (the first step toward confiscation). On the other hand, a person with a transmittable disease such as AIDS is guaranteed the right to privacy, although they have the potential to put unsuspecting individuals at risk.
The Second Amendment was necessary because it is the one right that can guarantee the other rights protected by our Constitution. Take this away and the others can swiftly follow.
Wake up, America, before it is too late.
Gary B. Allen
North Salt Lake