• Polito's Take: Holy Shoot!


    Even if you don't care about guns, read this blog. At the end, you'll have a better understanding of how dysfunctional our legislature is when they make laws affecting our daily lives.

    Every aspect of using firearms requires precision, from their exact manufacturing specifications to their proper and safe handling. There is nothing vague about guns. However, everything is vague about the Massachusetts laws that govern a person's ownership and use of a gun. Plus, it's not just private citizens who can't understand the law. Ask five different cops a question about gun laws and you'll likely get five different answers. This is not because the police officers are improperly trained, it's because there are many different interpretations of the laws. Just like with the Bible, Quran, and Torah, well-meaning people can read the same passage and have different interpretations of its message. I'm not comparing Massachusetts law to religious writings and teachings, but interpreting the law could make you take the Lord's name in vain.

    Massachusetts has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. They make it tough for a law abiding person to buy a gun and they make it tough for a person to lawfully use, carry and store that firearm. Let me give you one quick example. The law specifies that a gun must be stored in a locked container when it's not under your control. The problem is, the definition of a "container" is not explained. You could store your rifle in a locked wooden cabinet with glass doors and technically be within the law. A burglar could break into your home and easily grab the weapon after smashing the glass. You can argue that it was a lawful storage of your gun when we all know it's ridiculous.

    I could go on with other examples, but I wanted to make this point. The members of the legislature who have crafted and amended our gun laws were either sloppy or they don't know anything about firearms. I believe it's a little of both. I also believe this is the way most other laws are made.

    That brings us to the town of Westford. Some members of the board of selectmen want to further complicate the situation by enacting their own set of gun laws. I've read them, surprise, they're vague. But, one thing is clear.  If approved by voters at town meeting, certain types of guns that are legal in Massachusetts would be banned in Westford and the police could take them from owners. Whoa! This is a step that our sloppy and misinformed Beacon Hill lawmakers dared not take. Good luck Westford. The Supreme Court has not been vague in shooting down similar laws. You don't have a prayer, save the money you'll spend on legal bills.

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