I own guns — rifles, shotguns and one pistol. I hunt. The rifles hold four rounds, the shotguns three shells and the pistol six shells. None are automatic weapons and I have never felt underequipped.

I have not experienced a situation, hunting or target practice, where there was not ample time to reload. Reloading in each case is one shell at a time, not a magazine. Often when target shooting, the rifle has only one shell in it for safety and marking purposes. Also, in each case, chambering the next shell requires a pump action on the shotguns, unlocking and pulling the bolt back for extraction of the spent shell with the rifles or thumb cocking for the pistol.

I cannot imagine a time where I would want to shoot 20 or 30 shells in a burst and not be able to accurately assess where each round hit. In fact, Oregon laws restrict the number of shells that a hunting weapon may contain for the precise purpose of avoiding random dangerous shooting. The principle of putting lots of shots in the air without carefully identifying a target is anathema to any qualified hunter or shooter.

Those who argue that automatic weapons are necessary for home protection would probably agree that nothing could be more frightening in the dark than the sound of the pump action on a shotgun being closed. And, that would be true even if a break-in was by 10 people.

Common logic says that the only reason for huge magazines on assault weapons (rifles or pistols) is to terrorize and kill or maim large numbers of people in a very short period of time. Smaller magazines would give ample pleasure in target practice situations.

There are multiple problems to confront in a society that facilitates the mass murder of innocent people using assault rifles. As first steps, it is far beyond time to eliminate the possession, manufacture and sale of: 1) assault weapons; 2) any magazine that can hold more than five rounds; and 3) armor-piercing bullets. This would not be gun control, it would be intelligent. Or, shall we simply wait like sheep for the next unimaginable mass killing of women and children.

Congress and the states must act now. Please join me in saying to elected officials: “Not next time - now.”

Ron Adams is a resident of West Linn.

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