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I believe that the vast majority of Republicans in Texas do not own assault rifles. I believe they really can see how dangerous these weapons are, and how they have no imaginable purpose in the life of the average citizen.

I also believe that the vast majority of Democrats in Texas do not want to take all guns out of the hands of everyone who has one. I believe they really are concerned about the ease with which these large-caliber automatic weapons can be obtained by anyone who walks into a gun store.

In other words, the vast majority of all Texans agree that automatic assault weapons have no place in the life of law-abiding Texans, regardless of their political leanings. So what makes this such a controversial topic?

Gun owners (of which I am one) have been convinced by fear-mongers that “they” are going to take away our guns, starting with assault rifles (which we don’t have and don’t want), but soon expanding to the handguns we have for our protection, our hunting rifles and eventually our kids’ BB guns. It’s presented as a slippery slope so we have to make sure that step one, banning assault weapons, never happens.

I don’t believe that rhetoric, and I wish others would examine it more carefully. I personally don’t like hunting, but I’m not trying to stop people from doing it lawfully. I’m not crazy about seeing a guy walking around with a gun on his hip, but I’m not trying to stop him from doing it where it’s legal to do so. I wouldn’t vote for somebody who wants to take away my right to keep a gun in my house if I want one. But assault weapons? Seriously? Eighteen innocent people were gunned down in the past week, by individuals who most probably could not have caused that much destruction with conventional firearms.

There is nothing to fear from a ban on the sale of assault weapons. We’ll be better able to get them away from the bad guys if we make them illegal. These weapons were designed for use in war; let’s stop waging war on each other.

- Susan Hull