YOU SAY: letters to tHe eDitor
Keep ‘defense’ in debate
Re: “We need a serious discussion of guns” (Editorial, Dec. 19)
I agree, in part, with the article, but I wish it focused more on the primary issue of defense. Numerous independent studies over the decades have proved that strict guncontrol laws do not prevent the criminals or deranged individuals from obtaining them. These laws only help to make law-abiding citizens defenseless. Locations with the strictest gun-control laws have always had the highest crime and murder rates. Think Washington, D.C., and Chicago.
There is a huge difference between first-line defenders and first responders. The latter arrive only after the tragedy has occurred. A key part of the Second Amendment was to allow us to be our first line of defense. It’s naïve to believe that the police or laws will prevent these acts. Who would you prefer to have a gun in our schools and colleges? Licensed law-abiding adults or the deranged person bent on resistance-free carnage? It’s time for common sense to prevail in our laws. Larry Massung
Gun owners must step up
Re: Restrict high capacity semiautomatic weapons
I received my first rifle for Christmas from my grandfather when I was 8 years old; I have owned guns and rifles for target shooting and hunting; I am not anti-gun. However, in the aftermath of Newtown, I find it hard to believe that good people who collect guns, who use guns for hunting, target shooting, even those who keep them for personal protection, are not sickened by the increased frequency of these incidents of slaughter with high-power, high-capacity weapons and the stain left on the whole idea of legitimate gun ownership. It is time for those who find owning and using guns important to advocate for sensible, responsible and adult restrictions on auto and semiautomatic weapons that have no real legitimate civilian purpose, before more of these incidents sway the growing tide of citizen revulsion into taking more drastic measures of gun control. Bob Rankin
Armed volunteers ready
Re: “NRA calls for armed officers at all schools to prevent violence” (Dec. 22)
I am a retired senior citizen. I have a concealed hand gun license (CCL). I would be pleased to donate a few hours a day to watch the front door of our schools to protect against a violent people entering our schools. Not unlike volunteers who protect road crossings at school zones. I would bet that a lot of citizens would step up to this duty, free of charge. CCL people are not as trained as full-time security guards, but our training should be sufficient to thwart would-be killers. Ray Argabright
Anti-gun lobby misguided
Re: Gun control It is despicable to me that the liberals in the media and in our government are using the mass murder of innocent children to grind a political ax and to push their gun-banning agenda that violates our civil and constitutional rights. There is not one gun control law that can be passed that will stop these mass murders because all of these massacre sites are gun-free zones. The only thing that can stop this type of carnage is an armed person in the form of a peace officer or a law-abiding citizen. Those are the facts whether you like them or not. Bart Franklin
Control criminally insane
Subject : Control Crazies, Not Guns
The tragic shootings of innocent children and adults should not be used as an excuse to punish law abiding citizens, nor impede their ability to defend their own families and neighbors. Gun control is an absurd solution based on an incompetent assessment of the real problem — the criminally insane having access to an inadequately protected public.
Nearly three decades ago, the Reagan administration threw the mentally ill out of state-run psychiatric care facilities, leaving them to fend for themselves on the street, or unprepared families to cope with the onerous burden of trying to provide for unwell individuals who often pose clear and present dangers to everyone around them.
Since the consequences of uncontrolled insanity affect everyone in the community, it is time that the official agency of community again provide care for the seriously mentally ill, and protect the general public from future such tragedies.
No excuse for inaction
Discussion of what happens now, after the Sandy Hook slaughter, must include the following: Anyone who objects to discussion of and action on all four items needs to rethink their priorities. First, restricted access to guns. Just get over it. Drop the baseless argument that more guns mean fewer deaths. It’s naïve at best, murderous at worst. Second, wide open access to mental health care. Third, end media glorification of perpetrators. No one gets famous this way. Fourth, most of these monstrous acts are committed by males. We must raise all of our children to understand that violence is wrong. But boys and men in particular grow up believing violence is an option. We must change this. Until we do, the list— Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook — will only get larger. Action must be taken on multiple issues in concert. Nothing should stand in the way of our taking steps to prevent the next slaughter. Otherwise, when — not if —this happens again, their blood is on our hands. Brett Westbrook