LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
With all the rhetoric flying now about guns, it's easy to lose sight of a very simple thing we can all do right now to keep guns from getting into the wrong hands.
Even if new legislation is passed, there are millions of guns in America. I haven't heard anyone talk about security.
If Nancy Lanza had spent just a little more money on a safe, perhaps her son would not have been able to do what he did. A basic safe costs less than one of the guns she owned. Everyone who has guns should strongly consider it. It can also be used to store your other valuables like credit cards, coins, jewelry and important papers. Be smart, everyone, and buy a safe. — Steve Wiley, Gold Hill
I watched our local Rep. Dennis Richardson on TV advocating arming schoolteachers. I assume that the weapons would be loaded and ready to shoot.
Where does he expect the teacher keep the weapon? Maybe on the hip like John Wayne?
Perhaps in a drawer? The drawer would have to be locked. Would the teacher have time to locate the key?
What type of weapon? A handgun would not be effective against an AR-15 or Bushmaster. How would the first responding police know who were the bad guys or good guys? Representative Richardson should rethink this idea. — Barney Spera, Ashland
The tragedy of the "gun conversation" is that the issue is so fiendishly complicated.
A complicating factor is Americans' naive belief that society can be perfected to unrealistic degrees. The answer is not to be found in heaping restrictions willy-nilly on people and institutions. — Hubert Smith, Jacksonville
I agree with Dennis Richardson, who serves in the Oregon House of Representatives, on his idea of training and arming teachers so that the situation that happened in Connecticut can be prevented.
Nowadays, there is an imbalance of power which really aids the unstable. Very few citizens are armed and able to defend themselves or others. I agree that if the teachers were prepared to deal with assault, then the children would be much, much safer.
There seems to be this concept that life would be wonderful if nobody had guns. Sure it would. But the one person who had a gun would be king.
OK, the answer is let the police protect us. So what is the average response time? For us, who live in the country, the issue is even more severe. I simply do not consider the police are effective in any kind of preventive capacity. They are only good for mopping up. It is up to us, the average citizen, to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Hurray for you, Dennis. You have sense. — Frank Young, Central Point
Will intellect ever prevail over emotion and self-interest? Probably no time soon.
Sadly, it took a local state representative less than a day to draw the wrong conclusion — more guns to protect the children. No, not more guns. Fewer guns.
I remain stunned by our steadfast refusal to acknowledge the facts because we are so primitively unscientific. The data are clear: Countries banning high-powered semiautomatic weapons do not have shooting sprees.
Ironically, the message came home to Nancy Lanza — her love of guns to "protect" her home got her killed. If her own son hadn't had access to semiautomatics for "home security" Nancy might still be alive and most or all of the 20 children would be alive.
As a clinical psychologist, I can promise two things: 1) we will always have mentally ill, socially disenfranchised prospective school shooters; 2) we will never succeed in accurately identifying them ahead of time.
As a common-sense person, I add a third tenet: A gun in school will not stop such surprise attacks. A better solution: a willingness by gun enthusiasts and gun manufacturers to remove their selfish blinders. — Eric M. Morrell, Jacksonville