The Tucson tragedy and gun control
The Jan. 10 editorial “Carnage in Arizona” noted that the toll of the shootings in Arizona was exacerbated by the use of high-capacity magazines that can hold as many as 30 rounds. There is little or no dispute over the current ban on silencers and fully automatic weapons because they have no use in hunting or self-defense. The same is true of high-capacity magazines— hunters simply do not use them. The use of these devices by the Virginia Tech and Tucson shooters demonstrates that high-capacity magazines are used almost exclusively to kill large numbers of human beings and they lack any important or legitimate purpose.
Hopefully, as a result of this latest outrage, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) can come together and jointly sponsor a very limited bill prohibiting the manufacture, importation or sale of high-capacity magazines other than for police or military purposes. The introduction of such a bill by both our Republican and Democratic leaders would help ensure that the interests of gun manufacturers do not run roughshod over our legitimate security interests. Additionally, state legislatures should consider enacting enhanced penalties for the use in any crime of a high-capacity magazine.
Bruce N. Shulman, Silver Spring
Contrary to the premise of Richard Cohen’s column [“Blame the guns,” op-ed, Jan. 11], guns do not kill people, people kill people.
People can be, and have been, killed by many ordinary household items — forks, butter knives, spoons, toothbrushes, baseball bats, electrical cords, to mention a few. Yet I don’t see anyone saying they should be outlawed. Mass deaths have been caused by airplanes, trains and automobiles. Mr. Cohen did not mention banning any of these, either. His soapbox is very slippery.
Charles L. Schiff, Birmingham, Mich.
The Jan. 11 editorial “Getting control of guns,” in which The Post once again advocated controls on the constitutional right to bear arms, contained this sentence: “Reasonable gun control is not unconstitutional.” If the sentence had said, “Reasonable press control is not unconstitutional,” The Post’s editors would be apopleptic. I am an advocate of gun control, but I am more an advocate of the Constitution. If the Constitution needs to be changed, get the support necessary to amend it but please stop pretending it doesn’t exist.
Paul Trampert, Centreville