Letters to the Editor
Council meeting gun photo was disturbing
The photo on the front page of the Daily Tidings on Feb 4, picturing Christopher Lloyd armed with an assault rifle and an automatic pistol, was very disturbing. Without a headline explaining that it was a City Council meeting about open carry, it could easily be mistaken for a photo of a hostage situation where a grim-looking armed man is standing over unarmed seated victims. It's not a pretty picture.
And Lloyd's comments in the accompanying article were as unsettling as his personal adornment. He stated, "A good person with a gun stops a bad person with a gun." Well, how do I know if a total stranger, armed with a couple of people killers, walking around the downtown is a "good person"?
Look at the photo of of this armed man at the council meeting. Would you want to stand in front of him while buying a ticket to a movie? Picture a man armed with an AR-15 and a 9-mm pistol standing in front of your child's school as you drive up to drop the young student off. Do you think, "Oh, that complete stranger with a rifle and a pistol looks like a good guy to me"? Or do you think, "I'm getting out of here because there's a gunman on the sidewalk where I was going to drop off my kid!"
I will pass on Mr. Lloyd's unsolicited security services and rely on the Ashland police and other trained law enforcement to protect our public spaces. Anyone who is too afraid to walk the streets of Ashland without an assault rifle should consider staying home.
Gun control reduces violence
I'm writing to address the erroneous assertion that gun control does not lead to reductions in gun violence.
In 2011, while approximately 12,000 Americans died by gun accidents/homicides, almost 20,000 died by suicide with a gun. In fact, over 50 percent of all suicides are by gun, and the vast gender difference in rates of suicide are directly correlated to men owning and using guns at much higher rates. Additionally, Oregon's suicide rate is higher than the national average and Jackson County's rate is higher than the state average. In the majority of youth suicides by gun, the firearm was owned by the parents.
Suicide is a preventable public health problem of serious magnitude. Suicide researchers have found that in states with lower gun ownership (with other variables held equal), there are lower rates of suicide by gun. Harvard public health researchers advocate that restricting access to guns reduces suicide risk. Clearly, an additional benefit to the proposed gun safety ordinance that protects children from unsecured guns will be reducing our community's suicide risk.
Less of Barone's mentality, please
A lot less of Michael Barone would be appreciated. He's clearly of the Fox mentality.