LETTERS: To beat terror, we need an armed citizenry

The attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., are examples of a pattern of terror that predictably will be repeated in the months and years ahead. No gathering of Americans will be safe. All public gatherings, religious and secular, will be targeted and increasingly vulnerable. Counteractive measures must be planned, organized and implemented.

Some suggestions that have been made include: reporting suspicious behavior (good, but it cannot always be detected); increasing background checks of gun buyers (good, but mental illness cannot always be established); enlarging police forces (good, but the police cannot be omnipresent); and disarming Americans (bad, because criminals can always secure deadly weapons).

The only realistic solution is to deputize, arm and train private citizens of proven mental stability and maturity. Such citizens, both males and females, will be unpaid, unannounced volunteers who serve as secret defenders of the public in the event of any potential murderous terrorist rampage. The public will know these volunteers are out there, but will not know who they are.

With 10 such citizens per every 100 adults in each county, there would likely always be one of these armed volunteers in every supermarket, trade show, shopping mall, school, church, synagogue or other gathering. Such public defenders from every profession, including teachers, lawyers, physicians, politicians and business people, will be ready to cut down anyone who starts shooting at innocent people.

John Edward Ross

Las Vegas

A lot has been said by many national news outlets, along with a host of local reporters, about Sheldon Adelson’s purchase of the Review-Journal. Make no mistake about it, Sheldon Adelson is very smart and knows how to run a successful business. You don’t become a billionaire by accident.

I think Mr. Adelson will invest and make the R-J a better newspaper, adding strong journalists and better content. Politically, the R-J editorial page has always leaned to the right, so expect little change there. In the few short months under the previous owners, GateHouse Media, the newspaper continued to improve, making it by far the strongest news source in Nevada.

Expect the paper to only get stronger under a local owner who is experienced in running successful companies. Mr. Adelson builds a business by spending money, not cutting costs; this will force other news outlets to step up their game.

Tom Letizia

Las Vegas

— The writer is a local marketing, public relations and political campaign adviser.

Ohio police shooting

Richard Strickland’s letter was very critical of the grand jury that refused to indict two Cleveland police officers who shot and killed a boy who was carrying a toy gun (“Tamir Rice ruling,” Dec. 31 Review-Journal). He stated the officers fired far too quickly. As much as I disagree with most of what Mr. Strickland wrote, he is entitled to form and freely express his opinion. And so am I.

The gun was not a toy. It was a pellet gun, which could cause serious injury or death. It strongly resembled a gun with much more lethal capability. Mr. Strickland seems to be of the opinion that the officers, before firing, should have tried some type of de-escalation tactic. Had they done that and the suspect fired and hit someone, and had Mr. Strickland then been critical of the officers for not shooting quickly enough, I would be on his side.

Based on all that I know regarding this event, I am on the officers’ side.

Steve Steckel

Las Vegas

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