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Letters to the editor on assault-weapons ban, fire gawkers

  • Published Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, at 12 a.m.

Letters to the Editor

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Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Wichita Eagle, 825 E. Douglas, Wichita, KS 67202

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For more information, contact Phillip Brownlee at 316-268-6262, pbrownlee@wichitaeagle.com.

No civilian needs an assault rifle

Columnist Cal Thomas wrote: “We are not ‘basically good,’ as some claim; we are imperfect and fall far short of any true standard of perfection” (“Is evil gaining the upper hand in America?” Dec. 19 Opinion).

What a crock. Sure, we are imperfect, but the vast majority of people are good and strive to live in harmony with one another. If we were all as evil as Thomas thinks, most of us would understand why Adam Lanza took his mother’s assault rifle and killed her and 26 others. But we don’t understand, nor can we grasp such an evil act.

Since I left the Marines 30 years ago, I have believed that no civilian needs an assault rifle. There is nothing more deadly than this efficient killer, except explosives. It has one purpose: to kill humans. Hunters and people wanting to protect their homes and property do not need these weapons.

Arming teachers and expecting them to step into roles as police officers is ridiculous. What we need is a commonsense approach to gun ownership. We must, at the least, lock up weapons. We also need to deal with the mentally ill in this country, not leave them to commit such crimes, end up in jail or be left to fend for themselves on the street homeless. We need to take care of these people in a compassionate and medically controlled environment. We should also not teach them how to use assault weapons, as the gunman’s mother did.

America is not evil, but evil will prevail if good people only remain silent. Put gun control to a national referendum.



Ban is pointless

Banning assault rifles would be pointless. Anyone willing to massacre a group of people most likely will find the means to do so, with or without access to guns. Also, banning these guns will only promote black-market sales, resulting in more unregistered weapons in possibly more crimes.



New thinking

The answer to Newtown’s tragedy will not come by focusing on guns alone.

We have been told for decades that we are a violent nation. So we live up to that epithet, beginning early. Kids in the yard play good guys versus bad guys, using sticks for guns. Inside, cops and robbers are on TV, and video games are based on death. It’s even our language: “I’m gonna kill him.” We take it as a matter of fact.

New thinking will be required. One of the first things we need to do is deprogram ourselves from the National Rifle Association’s mantra: “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” Why have we allowed the NRA to brainwash practically a whole nation and hold in sway the lawmakers? Remove the gun from a robber, and you probably prevent injury or death. Of course guns kill people and any other living they are pointed at. They are weapons, aren’t they?

Can we convince ourselves violence is not the way we choose to live?



Ticket gawkers

I was in an office recently that was on a busy street on the west side of town. The side street on the east side of this same office had a house fire about three houses down and across the street. Cars came off the main street and turned down to see the fire. It was not long before the street was completely blocked by cars looking at the fire.

Then the fire trucks came. The fire trucks could not get within a block of the fire because of the cars coming to see the fire. Police came and started getting people to move. Then came more fire trucks. They tried to go through the parking area of the business where I was. Again, cars had to move so fire trucks could get in. I finished with my appointment but could not get out, because by then the main street was a parking lot.

I have never heard of any tickets given out for this. But a man can get a ticket for putting Christmas lights on his truck.



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