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Letters to the Editor

I'm just uh stewpud cunsurvuhtiv. Pleez bare with me.

1. Gunz gon = no won gets kilt? Timothy McVey and also thuh 9/11 hijakurz dint use gunz. Tak away gunz and somewon will figur out how 2 mak a wepon of mass destruckshun out uv alo vera, yogirt, and aki burys.

P.S. But itz OK 2 kil baybeez tho? If u support aborshun, then u share in any gilt for killin baybeez. God is watching. — Bob Calhoun, Eagle Point

The recent tragic school shooting has turned our attention again to the endless gun debate while sliding over the root cause, which is a problem within our society where too many young men between 15 and 25 feel left out and worthless and are filled with deep anger at their community. While dealing with safety issues, we also need to bring community awareness and focus on dealing with this mental health issue.

After these tragedies someone always comes forward to describe how they recognized the person was troubled, violent and angry. But an intervention was not made or was not followed through. Mental health guidance and counseling should be readily available without stigma or shame in our community.

Over the past several years community human services have been continually cut. Even with parity, insurance companies balk at mental health services. Schools have cut counseling services, extra activities and school days.

We need community dialogue, education, a hot line and an extended plan for community mental health services. Early recognition and intervention are essential. Just adding more guns won't solve the problem. A one-dimensional approach will guarantee it will happen again. — Estelle Womack, Gold Hill

Rep.Dennis Richardson does not see beyond his own frame of reference, not a good quality for a state representative. A majority of the public does not have his adolescent fantasies.

I still have nightmares 16 years after taking a gun from a student, even though I realized it was only a very realistic fake the moment I put my hand around it. No thanks, Mr. Richardson. Your "more guns" answer is the worst possible idea for safety in the schools.

Why spread fear and trauma for everyone instead of restricting military weapons for the few? Please, think like a state representative; think outside your own gunslinging mentality. — Myrl M. Bishop, Ashland

Whenever I think of the rationale that "more people owning guns" is a solution to preventing mass shootings, I think of Fredo in The Godfather.

While assailants quickly appear and shoot his father, he stands by shaking and bumbling his gun in an attempt to protect his father. He can't. He is rattled.

When frightening things happen, normal people freeze. They don't react like James Bond, they act like Fredo. The next time you are in the mall, pick out the number of Tom Cruises vs. Fredos you see. Are these the "more people" you want to have guns? — Jim Rible, Ashland

It is hard to believe that any rational person believes the problem is that there aren't enough guns in the schools. So assuming Rep. Dennis Richardson is a rational person, I can only believe he is in the pocket of the National Rifle Association.

Since RFK and MLK were assassinated, over 1.25 million Americans have died from gun violence, yet guns are even more available. In the same time period no more than 4,000 Americans have died from domestic terrorism, yet we spend tens of billions on homeland security.

There's a lot of money in homeland security yet there is no financial profit in removing guns from availability. Follow the money and the reason reveals itself. Does Richardson sleep well at night? — Art Baden, Ashland

My father was a member of the NRA, so you might say I grew up in an NRA home. I still remember copies of American Rifleman around the house.

My childhood memories of the NRA are of an organization that promoted gun safety and responsible use of firearms. That is hardly the NRA of today. Today it's all about the right to have semiautomatic weapons of mass destruction.

I heard an interesting interview on the news this week. When one of the weapons dealers was asked why Americans needed to have such outrageous weapons his reply was "It's for the Second Amendment to protect us from the government!" I wonder how long a local militia could hold out if they really decided to attack the government. I suspect that regardless of the number of weapons they had, it would be a short battle.

Maybe the semiautomatic weapon advocates feel they are like the Syrian rebels and somehow the United Nations will come in and help them — but then, of course, most of the people who would make up the local militia don't support the U.N. — Bruce Kelling, Medford

An earlier letter writer wrote "Schoolteachers in Israel carry handguns." I can see the scenario. A deranged killer is loose in the halls. I will pull out my little pistol from my shoulder holster. Oops, he has a semi-automatic assault weapon. I will shoot — bang. He shoots — bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, etc.

The writer also wrote "My family wants a level playing field where we can at least have a fighting chance to defend ourselves "…" Banning assault weapons will help to level the field, don't you think?

You may not already know the following statistic from 1998, one of many studies. "Guns in the home were 22 times more likely to be used in unintentional shootings, murder or assault, and suicide attempts than in an act of self-defense." (www.bradycampaign.org). So, there is a difference between "feeling" safer, than actually "being" safer. — Sandra Baker, Medford

I can't believe the over-reaction to the Medford police deparments' attempt to give themselves a tactical advantage over ruthless, violent thugs trying to take over our streets. Everyone seems to know so much better what they should spend the money on!

The police are the ones that have to risk their lives every day keeping our streets safe. I don't want to do their job, do you? Have any of you actually read the articles in the Mail Tribune? You know, the ones describing shootings, stabbings, drug dealing and at times general mayhem?

come from California where they like to spend $260,000 on stuff like diversity training. Believe you me, you don't want Oregon to be like California!

Violence from drugs and gangs is rampant in Sacramento where I am from. At the end of 2010 when we moved up here, it seemed as though there was at least one shooting a day. Sometimes multiple shootings.

I predict that the SWAT vehicle will prove to be a valuable tool to the MPD. And when it does prove its worth I challenge the Mail Tribune to report that! — Rick Nelson, Medford