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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Editorial: Discussion of violence continues

Sunday, January 20, 2013

After a week of discussions of gun violence on the national, state and local levels, it is clear that there are no easy, universally agreed-upon resolutions to the issue. But the talks must continue and compromises must be reached if we are to live without fear.

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama announced a sweeping, $500 million plan to combat gun violence. It is the most comprehensive effort to tighten gun laws in nearly two decades.

Controversial measures, such as requiring background checks for all gun sales and a ban on both military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, will require approval by Congress. Considering the recent track record of the divided Congress, approval is doubtful.

Obama also signed 23 executive orders Wednesday, including measures that should be common sense, such as developing model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and higher education institutions, and one proposing that rules be made to give police the ability to run a full background check on a person before returning a seized gun.

Initially, we tend to hear responses on the far ends of the issue, ranging from those who oppose any restrictions on people’s ability to have guns of any type to those who want more severe reforms. We suspect the resolution will lie in the middle, with each side giving and taking until some agreement is reached.

We look forward to more discussion of this issue, and we encourage readers to send their opinions in letters to the editor. We hope an open discussion by people with open minds will lead to some reasonable conclusions and a safer society.


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