To the editor:
Why is the NRA so strongly against banning so-called "assault rifles"? The simple answer is that such a ban will not stop mass shootings. Once banned, the shootings will continue, and the anti-gun forces will clamor for the banning of other types of guns.
Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 32 and wounded 17 at Virginia Tech, used two pistols. Anders Breivik, who killed 77 and wounded 242 in Norway, used a pistol and a hunting rifle, shooting off more than 120 rounds with each. No assault rifle was used in either mass murder, so please explain how an assault rifle ban would solve the problem.
Timothy McVeigh simply used fertilizer to kill 168 people. Any mental case bent on mass killing will find a way, with or without so-called "assault rifles."
We need to protect our children with security on campus. We need better mental health care and we need to stop exposing our youth to the constant spree killing glorified in Hollywood movies and aggrandized in video games and toys.
The loons who carry out these mass killings nearly always pick a target they know will not be protected. Just the knowledge that there is armed resistance will deter school attacks.
The NRA has suggested a combination of paid security and community volunteers to protect our children at school. As a retired military man, I would be glad to do my part and am sure there are many others who would be happy to contribute their time and services. The only way to determine if security would be effective is to try it. We already know that a feel-good ban on certain types of guns will not do anything to deter mass murderers.
To the editor:
In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the NRA has come up with a jobs plan: placing armed guards at every school in America. They also suggest training teachers to handle assault weapons in case of an attack.
Once you finish policing the schools, we find that school buses are vulnerable, too. Then we start bullet-proofing the buses and training the drivers to shoot straight. These steps would create many jobs for trainers, Humvee manufacturers and police officers.
The NRA wants the government to provide psychiatric help to possible attackers. With a large database of potential future shooters, we may need more mental health professionals. It may be easier to give mental health assistance to known assault weapon owners who want rapid-fire machine guns to hunt and fish.
Another culprit in all this mayhem is the Hollywood movie producers, who show too much violence in movies and video games. The right-wing nuts who spew vitriol on talk radio and television have no blood on their hands.
It is time for people of all stripes to wake up and stand against the NRA bullies. Background checks of gun purchasers will not solve the problem because we cannot check all the people in the family, or the gun owner's friends and acquaintances, who may access the gun for hunting and fishing.
To the editor:
American Samoa, a U.S. territory, has the toughest gun laws in America. With limited exception, guns are generally prohibited by law. Even most police do not carry guns.
With guns being outlawed, you'd think criminals wouldn't have guns, right? Yet on the morning of July 23, 2010, police Lt. Lusila Brown was shot to death by a local thug on the front lawn of the courthouse. Another officer was wounded in the scuffle as police attempted to subdue the shooter. Having no guns themselves, they couldn't just shoot him. How could this possibly have happened if guns are against the law?
The "outlaw all guns" people just don't get it. Criminals, by their very nature, are not law-abiding. Does any rational person think that a law against guns will stop criminals from using them? We already have laws against killing people, as well as laws against armed robbery, burglary, rape and many other infractions.
I'm not a "gun nut," and I do agree that assault weapons should be banned. However a ban without enforcement and extremely stiff penalties would be useless. If guns were outlawed, only criminals would have guns.
Culture of violence
To the editor:
With all of the furor currently being directed at the NRA over gun control, I wonder: Where's the outrage toward the unending violence perpetrated in today's video games?
The demented Connecticut school shooter Adam Lanza had an elaborate video game setup in his basement. His solitary personality most assuredly made for thousands of hours of pulling triggers, creating chaos and visualizing the mayhem in these video games. Today's videos are not only more violent and complex, they are also vastly more realistic than previous versions, and they're played on 65-inch flat screens, in high definition with surround sound acoustics. It is a level of realism that delusional personalities should not be exposed to, so it's not surprising that this loner/gamer profile appears yet again in a tragedy of this type. Where is the discussion to curb or regulate the video game industry?
The violence against innocent people in schools, malls, theaters or restaurants will never be controlled by amending gun laws as long as intense violence is continually perpetuated through video games and through movies and on television. The overall environment of our culture needs to change.
Juli M. Moore