In Tombstone in 1881 it was illegal to carry a firearm within city limits. Incoming cowboys checked their guns at a livery or saloon. On their way out of town, visitors could retrieve their weapons (Tombstone was Apache territory). Because the Clantons (cornered in a vacant lot, not the OK Corral) were on their way out of town, their guns were legal. The Earps and Doc Holliday (who before and after the shootout were only moderately less criminal than the Clantons) were attempting to disarm their opponents. Holliday, who had the worst record, possessed a city gun permit.
Nobody has yet proposed a law that would have stopped the Newtown massacre — a law that would confiscate an already-purchased assault weapon from the mother of a discreetly insane child.
In 1787, cannons and bayonets were the only weapons that governments possessed but the citizenry didn't. The guns that today's anti-government types insist are necessary to oppose tyranny are worthless against tanks, missiles, drones and tactical nukes.
Founders' founder James Madison would be shocked that we're still using the Constitution he fathered; he saw the document as a stopgap compromise likely to last a generation. — Hunter Greer, Ashland
Alan Journet's Feb. 1 guest opinion on climate change is more a rant against profit and producers of our high standard of living than any serious argument on climate change. He leaves out any positive "externalities" that the oil companies produce which are enjoyed even by people who don't use their product, who I dare say are very few. It is not the oil companies that pollute but the ones that use their product, which includes all of us.
Climate change advocates have a habit of declaring any natural disaster as being due to global warming. The latest example is Superstorm Sandy. What made that storm so destructive was not the severity of the storm itself but the coincidental occurrence of an unusually high tide caused by the moon and the location of the storm. But who needs facts when there is a "consensus" to the contrary?
Regarding fees, oil companies already pay fees for drilling on government property. They are called "royalties." Mr. Journet has a credibility problem. — Gordon W. Dickerson, Medford
Skip Stokes, a law enforcement officer, gave his perspective on gun control in his Mail Tribune letter Feb. 3. He says assault weapons complicate the law enforcement response to a situation where an assailant and several armed, untrained patrons blast away at each other.
Yet, at the recent Clackamas mall shooting, it has been suggested that the shooter was turned away simply by another shopper, Nick Meli, aiming his weapon at him. Meli decided not to fire because he was concerned if he missed then others might be injured.
I doubt Suzanna Gratia Hupp would agree with Stokes. She helplessly watched her parents and 48 others being shot in the Luby cafeteria massacre in 1991 before police arrived. Hupp had unfortunately left her weapon in her car. Twenty-three were killed, including her parents.
Stokes should know that when seconds count, the police are minutes away and that by the time they arrive, most of the damage has usually already been done, but his primary concern appears to be to avoid problems for the police, rather than in protecting those they have sworn to protect. — Mike Potter, Central Point