Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: April 10

Paul's plan to filibuster on guns is misguided

Sen. Rand Paul indicated he would oppose any additional restrictions on guns. Doing nothing is not an appropriate response when our nation is suffering from an epidemic of gun violence.

Paul apparently thinks there's nothing to be done about felons, the adjudicated mentally insane, straw purchasers and gun traffickers all buying as many guns as they want from gun shows throughout the country. This loophole undermines the whole background checking system.

Requiring background checks at gun shows and taking action to increase data contributed to the registry of felons and the mentally impaired will decrease gun violence. We know from recent tragic history that straw purchases were involved in the procurement of arms for the Columbine killers; former Rep. Gabby Gifford's shooter was stopped when he paused to change a magazine, and that a gun safe or simple gun lock could have prevented the loss of the innocent ones in Newtown.

No legislation will end gun violence in America, yet that doesn't mean we should not make some sensible attempt to lessen the carnage, especially when these measures have no impact on anyone's Second Amendment rights.

In a recent speech, Paul said, "No one person gets to decide the law." Take your own words to heart, sir, and put away your newfound toy, the filibuster, and allow legislation desperately needed to go forward to a vote. Doing nothing is not the leadership we need.

L. Wayne Scott


Bring it to a vote

If Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid does his job right, he will push hard to bring up sensible gun control measures for a vote in the Senate. Polls show that an overwhelming majority of the American people want universal background checks. Senators should have to go on record. For Republican senators to filibuster a gun control bill is cowardly.

The House of Representatives, under the leadership of Speaker John Boehner, should also bring a bill to a vote. Almost three-fourths of National Rifle Association members are even in favor of background checks. If a significant number of non-paranoid NRA members, who support sensible gun control, would renounce their membership, perhaps the greedy NRA's stifling political power could be greatly reduced.

"Remember the Maine!" and "Remember the Alamo!" were battle cries from the past. The unceasing battle cry today should be: "Remember the Newtown massacre!" Voters must hold all congressional members' feet to the fire until they pass bold legislation to reduce gun violence in America.

Paul L. Whiteley Sr.


Limits encourage crime

After the Sandy Hook school shooting, many politicians are asking for more gun control. I do not think this is a good idea because all the responsible gun owners will be harmed because they won't be able to defend themselves as well.

This is against our Second Amendment rights. If our guns are taken away, things will go into chaos, and crime will be very common and happen often.

Chicago has very restrictive gun laws, yet it has a high crime rate. Mexico has a total gun ban, yet thousands die every year from gun violence.

Taking away citizens' right to bear arms is just telling criminals, "hey, defenseless victims here."

Gun control will only encourage crime. Criminals do not obey the law and will not give up their guns like good citizens will. We shouldn't take away the rights of responsible people due to the actions of crazy people.

Although those advocating gun control are well-intentioned, they are misguided as to what the effects of their proposals would be.

Matthew Redenbaugh

Age 13


Good guys get killed

An armed former Navy SEAL renowned for his ability as a sniper and his armed ex-military buddy shot down and killed at a shooting range. A Kentucky gun store owner shot and killed in his own store surrounded by his guns.

National Rifle Association spokesman Wayne LaPierre says the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun. Yet the news is full of stories of good guys with guns being killed by bad guys with guns and the element of surprise.

The NRA has created fear among gun owners to amass over $200 million per year in donations. This gives the NRA almost unlimited funds to lobby and influence congressmen to stifle any sort of sensible gun regulation.

Those congressmen have passed laws absolving gun manufacturers and gun dealers of any responsibility for the mayhem caused by their product.

After every mass murder the gun manufacturers and dealers get to keep the profit on the sales of the guns and ammunition used by the murderer while the general public pays an enormous cost.

Congress has even passed a law making it illegal for law enforcement to track the sales of gun dealers. This makes it possible for unscrupulous gun dealers to make as much profit as they want selling guns to anyone.

As a result, any bad guy can get any gun he wants at any time. And all good guys, no matter how many guns they have in their personal arsenal, are at risk.

Kevin Kline


A safer defense

I support arming teachers with Tasers. I believe if the principal and the teacher who first confronted Adam Lanza in Newtown had been so equipped, the tragedy might have been avoided or mitigated at the least.

Stun guns are certainly a safer, more humane defense than armed guards in our schools, day cares, malls. etc. I also support full gun registration for all gun purchases, sales, transfers, barters, trades, gifts, auctions and any other legal slipperiness that the gun lobby wants to cook up.

For goodness sakes, do you really think more guns make our children safer? The statistics say otherwise.

At the very least, allow the Centers for Disease Control to fully track the incidence, nature of gun violence and occurrences nationwide. It is a sham that they are not allowed to track this tragedy, this devastation, this disease that takes so many lives each year.

Tens of thousands of lives that could have been used for good instead are wasted with murder, suicide or accidental death.

Charles A. Bowsher


Some bans needed

During the Vietnam era my cousin bravely served in the military, and does not speak of his experiences to this day. But he did ask me to write about banning assault weapons with high-capacity magazines.

He knows firsthand what these weapons can do and agrees they should only be in the hands of military personnel and police officers.

He owns guns and loves to hunt but feels the NRA is wrong in supporting the sales of these assault weapons. Anybody who would use one of these weapons on a deer is sadistic and not a sportsman.

We both believe in the Second Amendment, but it breaks our hearts to think about all the innocent victims of mass shootings. We must do everything within our power to stop this from happening again.

Alberta Toomey