Protection is one reason for our right to bear arms
In response to a letter last month ("Guns a disease"), yes, guns being used to kill innocent people is grievously wrong. However, that does not mean that innocent gun owners should be stripped of their constitutional rights.
The kind of massacres the letter writer mentions could happen in Kentucky; licensed concealed carriers are everywhere. Would that someone in direct possession of a gun had been present in all the places listed, i.e., the theater in Aurora, Colo.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in McDonald v. Chicago that the Second Amendment does indeed mean civilians have the right to possess a firearm for lawful protection of one's self, family and property.
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Gun possession among the general public also greatly reduces the possibility of the government or organized military of any country becoming despotic. Can't happen here? That's right, because, per Gunpolicy.org, an international agency which promotes the prevention of firearm injury, there are 270 million firearms in the United States. No Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot or Hugo Chávez here.
The Founding Fathers understood. If you want it changed, try to change the Constitution.
Killing without guns
I have read the flood of letters expressing outrage about the taking of innocent lives by crazed gunmen in various parts of the United States, and I share in that outrage.
Unfortunately, as a free society, we are going to have these isolated incidents, whether the killers use guns, bombs or motorized vehicles to kill their victims.
I would suggest that if we are truly outraged by the killing of innocent people, that we focus on stopping the murder of over 1.2 million innocent babies every year by trained medical personnel in the United States. Private clinics and organizations such as Planned Parenthood are making millions in profits from killing an estimated 3,300 innocent babies every day.
I don't see many letters expressing outrage about the blatant disregard for human life that goes on every day disguised as a legitimate business.
Herein lies the real tragedy.
Murder made easy
Virginia Tech. Gabby Giffords. Aurora, Colo. And now Oak Creek, Wis.
The names and places are linked by tragedy, death and semiautomatic handguns.
The young men who carried out these mass shootings all counted at least one versatile, easy-to-fire pistol in their arsenals.
The gunman in Oak Creek used a semiautomatic firearm with high-capacity ammunition magazines. And he was able to purchase his guns and ammo legally despite a personal history replete with red flags. He had a criminal history and had been publicly involved in the White Power movement since 2000. He was known to law enforcement authorities.
In Aurora, the gunman carried a .40-caliber Glock along with a shotgun and an AR-15 assault rifle into a movie theater.
The Glock 19 semiautomatic pistol used in the murderous rampages in Tucson, Ariz., and Virginia Tech is, according to Glock's Web site "ideal for versatile use through reduced dimensions" and "is suitable for concealed carry."
All of these shooters were able to kill and wound to the extent they did because they had the semiautomatic, concealed weapon.
In the wake of these shootings, amid calls for bipartisanship and civility, now is the time for Democrats and Republican to join together to pass a permanent ban on assault weapons, and make us all safer.
No sense in bullet tax
A recent letter writer proposed taxing bullets to prevent mass murders. How is this going to help?
If they tax bullets to prevent things like this, then let's up the tax on all beer, liquor and wine to, say $99, and this will prevent people from driving drunk and killing people.
While we're taxing things to prevent mass murders, then let's tax drugs. Oh, wait, they're illegal and they still find ways into people's homes, kill their kids.
Criminals will always have a way or loophole to get things to do their crimes. I am sick and tired of people blaming guns and the access to guns as the problem.
Honestly, taxing bullets to make more revenue for the government would punish the ordinary working man who these days needs to be able to defend himself, family and property.
Those who need bullets for criminal acts would find them just like they find guns.