The shooting of the red-tailed hawk in west Medford should be a wake-up call to all.

The shooting of the red-tailed hawk in west Medford should be a wake-up call to all.

It is a known fact that serial killers and murderers very often begin by killing animals. This is a horrendous act of violence on a magnificent, defenseless animal. It is not sport. The perpetrators of this heinous act need to be caught and prosecuted. This is definitely not a childish piece of mischief. — P. Moran, Medford

Responsible gun owners, hunters, collectors and those who want to protect their homes from intruders need to calm down. The government is not going to take their guns away.

The vice president's gun policy task force worked on a comprehensive approach to prevent more gun violence. This includes removal from the retail market military-style assault rifles, high-capacity magazines, and armor-piercing bullets designed only to kill people.

More than 80 percent of gun owners favor sensible gun ownership laws. It's a complex challenge to balance Second Amendment rights with abuses of those privileges.

Considering the likely mental instability of the shooters in recent mass killings, it is easy to appreciate the proposal for universal background checks at the point of all gun sales. The law could identify criminals and the mentally ill who should never own guns.

It's astonishing to witness the degree of paranoia by obsessed factions of gun owners who fear the government is coming to confiscate their weapons. It is frightening to imagine their seditious mentality and that they could embrace fantasies of carrying out armed insurrection. The question is, then, does there need to be a broader definition of mental illness? — Dennis Rasmussen, Rogue River

Pity poor Jane Dow. She thinks Joan Walsh is living with a worst-case scenario that could never happen: that our own government would turn on us and shoot our own people.

Well, that is exactly what happened in Nazi Germany to Jewish citizens! Not only did their government turn against them, they rounded them up and sent them away and proceeded to exterminate them! I imagine those poor souls never thought their government would do that either.

Would things have been different if they had been armed? Prayer didn't save them! Not to mention the 110,000 Japanese citizens of the USA who were rounded up and interned in 26 different camps during World War II in this country. I am sure they would never have imagined that could happen to them either.

Yes, God is good; however, evil exists and citizens must be able to protect themselves from the evils of a tyrannical government. By the way, Japanese internment was done by Democratic president FDR via executive order No. 9066.

Beware of executive orders and a compliant press! The Second Amendment exists to protect ourselves from bad guys and a tyrannical government. — P. Atwood, Medford

Tuesday's Pearls Before Swine was beautiful. Thank you for running it. — Rob Werfel, Ashland