2nd Amendment was written before assault weapons
David Chew’s Jan. 4 letter [“Gun ban after killings as illogical as car ban after DWI ‘attack’”] was not only insensitive but ludicrous.
Comparing out-of-control vehicles to assault weapons is what one would expect from a fanatic who has no idea of what our Founding Fathers meant when they wrote our Second Amendment.
Mr. Chew wrote: “Knowledgeable and good people do not want their Second Amendment rights violated.” I am a knowledgeable person, and I have had a concealed carry permit for 50 years. I believe in the right to bear arms but I draw the line when it comes to assault weapons that have no other purpose than to kill.
Over the years as a sportsman, I have obtained rifles and shotguns for the purpose of hunting game. None of these firearms could possibly inflict the same devastation an assault weapon could in a matter of moments.
I, too, love my Constitution, and along with many others, I have served my country. Those brainwashed by the National Rifle Association have been telling us for decades that “they” are waiting to take our guns away. Just who “they” are will always be a mystery, but as [Pogo cartoonist] Walt Kelly said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” I would guess the enemy in this case is the NRA.
Sadly, for every one of us who writes saying assault weapons should be banned, there are five David Chews saying we are infringing on their rights. We can’t rely on politicians to help, as they are under the illusion that taking a stand against the gun lobby means their political careers are over.
There is a law pertaining to duck hunting that states, “You may not hunt migratory game birds with a shotgun that holds more than three shells.” At the same time, it is legal to have an assault weapon whose only purpose is to kill humans and it can hold enough shells to kill dozens without reloading.
God help us.
Gary P. Guido
Businesses, too, must keep sidewalks shoveled
Two weeks have passed since our recent snowstorm. A Jan. 6 letter writer expressed concern over the failure of neighbors to clear snow from their sidewalks and driveways. Perhaps the neighbor is old or handicapped; be a good neighbor and clear the walk for her/him.
My concern is State Street: Many businesses have had their parking lots plowed, only to pile the snow on the sidewalk. A pedestrian has two choices while traveling State Street — climb a mountain of snow or walk in the road. These are both serious safety issues.
Neither of these options is free from serious risk for the individual. Our code enforcement people should be targeting these businesses, and substantial financial penalties should be levied against them.
Now, before someone cries that we would drive businesses from the city with these measures, you should consider this fact: The business has already paid someone to clear the snow. Just make sure the guidance is explicit on how they want the snow removed.
James P. Kirby
Don’t fall for idea that ice is ever thick enough
A Jan. 5 article [“Area lakes ice over just in time for January thaw”] had to do with area lakes and ice.
A table by the American Pulpwood Association indicated how many inches of ice are safe for a “permissible load.” For example: two inches are OK for one person on foot, eight inches [are advisable] before a light truck should be placed on the ice, etc.
This article shouldn’t have been printed, because it almost encourages people to go out on the ice. My take on all of this: It’s never OK to go out on the ice with any vehicle. It’s bad enough when you go out on foot, but don’t encourage people to take cars and trucks on the ice. It’s too dangerous, no matter what anyone says about ice thickness.
To ice fishermen, I say: beware and be careful. Even one person falling through the ice is one too many.
Gun foes must mobilize to do battle with NRA
People are saying the time is now for our government to act courageously and stand up to the National Rifle Association. However, the reality is that both Democrats and Republicans fear the NRA. The NRA’s power stems from its ability to mobilize its 4 million members to contact Congress and oppose all gun laws.
Most of the NRA’s funding comes from its members’ $35 annual fee. The NRA will spend considerable cash campaigning against any member of Congress that does not support NRA positions.
Supporters of reasonable gun laws need to create their own powerful lobby. Thankfully, it’s already been started. The Brady Campaign (www.bradycampaign.org) in Washington has been fighting against the NRA for 30 years to enact reasonable gun laws that protect people. (They are not interested in banning guns.)
However, the Brady Campaign has thousands of members vs. the NRA’s 4 million. There is also a new grass-roots movement called OneMillionMomsForGunControl.org. that is inviting “all caring people” to join them.
The time to stop talking and start acting is now. Check out these organizations. Consider joining. Get involved. There are millions of Americans who support reasonable gun laws. We just need to harness that power.
Use fact, not opinion, to base gun arguments
In his Jan. 3 letter favoring stricter gun control, Arthur Haberl makes several statements of uninformed opinion and then uses these statements as “facts” to support his argument.
He writes, “Let’s get real and recognize the gun owners live in unreasonable fear of the outside world and intend to kill other people if they feel threatened and get a comforting opportunity to shoot.” I don’t even know how to respond to that except to say, he hasn’t even met me but he thinks he knows me. Sounds sort of arrogant to me.
He writes, “Pistols are designed solely for the purpose of killing people. It is only reasonable to assume that owners of these weapons intend to kill people.” He later writes, “Assault rifles are designed solely for the purpose of killing many people.”
I would describe those statements as using uninformed opinions as “fact” to support ridiculous and unreasonable conclusions.
Here are the facts. Handguns and AR-15s (I assume that is what Haberl is referring to when he uses the term “assault weapons”) are used tens of thousands of times each year for hunting, competitive shooting matches and recreational shooting. Literally millions of rounds are fired in those activities and no one is killed or injured. The AR-15-type rifle is the most-used rifle for NRA high-power competition. These firearms are also used for personal defense — also a fact.
Please, if we’re going to have a debate on controlling these types of firearms, let’s at least know what we’re talking about.
Timothy J. O’Neill
Auto fatalities put gun deaths in perspective
Everyone is up in arms over the recent killings related to guns, but not one word about the 32,367 people killed by auto accidents in 2011.
That would be 88 needless deaths per day. Maybe it’s time to outlaw cars. Makes as much sense!
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