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  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

  • "Gun control" is not about "gun rights" or "Second Amendment rights." It is about a lobbyist, the National Rifle Association, and its clients.
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  • "Gun control" is not about "gun rights" or "Second Amendment rights." It is about a lobbyist, the National Rifle Association, and its clients.
    The NRA is the principle lobbyist for American gun manufacturers. Guns are a durable product lasting decades. To drive sales, gun makers must increase market demand and space and, therefore, want no limitations on who can buy, own, carry or use a gun.
    New laws allowing guns on college campuses are an example of a legal decree serving to create a business market. Such laws are about creating market demand as are "stand your ground" laws and modifications of the "castle doctrine" allowing for use of deadly force without need for retreat. The NRA claims, for its clients, that anyone may own a gun and that anyone should be able to carry it and use it.
    The NRA is not about "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." The Second Amendment is about the ability of states to field and support a militia adjunct to but not part of a national military. See also: state National Guard. — Harry Freiberg, Brookings
    As a social conservative and advocate of gun ownership, I believe that gun laws have to change. But given Newtown, we have to admit to ourselves that unstable people will still have access to guns and voluntarily make changes to our way of life.
    So what can be done about it? Several things can be done to limit the carnage while maintaining constitutional rights. Puffy politicians will barter with the issue until democracy restricts the possession of high-caliber semi-automatic weapons and multi-round magazines to law enforcement and monitored gun ranges.
    You have to remember that the Constitution was written during the days of the single-shot cap-and-ball system. Multi-round pistols and assault rifles have no place in an angry and sick society, which America has become. Ban their use and ban their manufacture except for special purposes. If our forefather's landscape contained those weapons, our Constitution would have been worded differently.
    Other countries (such as Thailand) have done this and we can, too. But no citizen needs to walk around with a 16-shot pistol. Clearly technology has outstripped the Constitution. People can own guns, but we aren't waging battles that require those weapons in our society. — Steve Elam, Medford
    We had guns 65 years ago when I was about to graduate from high school, but I never remember any mass shootings by any young people like is happening now. Why is that? My thinking on this subject is that it may be that for at least 25 to 30 years, the young people have watched and played with video games that are all violent, with shootings, blowing things up, etc.
    They spend hours playing with all kinds of violent games on these devices, and I think it works on their minds. There must be a reason why the mass shooting of humans are happening now and not 40 or so years ago. The only similar one I can think of was Charles Whitman in 1966 on the tower at the University of Texas.
    He was about 25 years of age and had told a psychiatrist that he might do it, and the psychiatrist didn't believe him. He was taking different kinds of drugs, had been in the military and was in trouble while in. Now it seems like an everyday occurrence. — William C. Carlson, Central Point
    In "gun-free zones" you become a target.
    The difference between an "assault rifle" and a "magazine-fed hunting rifle" is appearance. Each shoots one projectile, one trigger pull.
    A double action revolver is a semi-automatic pistol, one shot per trigger pull. A cylinder is a round clip.
    At Sandy Hook, no one was prepared to protect the children in their charge. Police don't protect, they respond, investigate and enforce the law against perpetrators if apprehended. Rarely do police catch someone while committing a violent crime; if they do, it's a coincidence. Evil people determined to kill do so where they have power, where no one shoots back.
    What might the outcome have been if three to four members of staff were trained, tested and practiced in armed response? They may have saved lives.
    The problem is the coarseness and decadence that we allow in our midst. It cheapens our public morality to the point that we have become a society without limits. We have abandoned the morality of religion in the public forum, the very morality that our public forum was founded on. Until we return to the foundational roots of what we are meant to be as Americans, we shall reap what we sow. — Doug LaFeve, Medford
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