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To the Editor:

Mr. Nowlan's fifth point in his Oct. 22 Guest View asked why officials do not ban AR-15 and other "war-like" rifles. The reasons are easy.

One: People recall that the Supreme Court has ruled that individuals may possess and bear firearms which are in common use. Do be assured that every kind of small arms rifle used by armed services personnel during the American Revolution through current police actions and wars are in common use. Civilians use AR rifles in NRA sanctioned and other competitions in local, regional and national competitions. Another common usage is hunting. Please be assured that every rifle and caliber used by troops has been and continues to be used for legal game hunting by conservation oriented citizens.

Two: Current military style rifles are a major fraction of arms manufacturing and sales. This proves the matter of common use.

Three: A rifle is a rifle is a rifle. Each and every one has three major components — lock, stock and barrel. Current military rifles are as effective in the field as what may be called conventional rifles.

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Four: The same is true regarding protection of self and property. People who can afford only one firearm are well advised to consider the versatility of an AR.

Five: As I have stressed before, young men and women who are considering military service have and are welcome to exercise the right to become familiar with the small arms they will be using. Using rifles and handguns and even shotguns very similar to ones issued to members of the several branches of service before one raises one's hand at a swearing-in ceremony is altogether prudent and wise. Please be reminded that our two most feted snipers had rifles and used them frequently for target practice and hunting from age 10 on. Consequently, they excelled in rifle training and advanced to sniper duty.

Many people want to "do something" in response to criminal use of guns. Best that they advocate safety and secure storage and shooting programs in schools, churches, scouting, or other venues. State NRA affiliates stand ready to provide personnel, program design, and program conduct for young and old who wish to enjoy wholesome shooting sports.

Ron Stadt

Carbondale

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