NRA wants to protect its turf
I guess the response from the National Rifle Association to the Newtown, Conn., massacre was predictable (“NRA wants feds to put armed guards in schools,” Dec. 22 Eagle). The answer to gun violence is more guns – but only in the hands of good, well-trained people, of course, who will coolly, calmly and without fail stop all the bad and crazy people who try to harm our children in the future. You know – Dirty Harry in every classroom.
How sad that our primary response to the deaths of these children and their teachers would be to simply accept that Sandy Hook Elementary School won’t be the last time someone walks into a school armed to the teeth and looking for victims. If as a nation our first line of defense is a cop at the entry door of every school, and our last line of defense is a well-armed teacher in the classroom, then it’s as if we are giving in and hunkering down.
Reasonable restrictions on assault weapons and high-capacity clips are the least we can do – the most obvious measure that could be taken to lessen the chance that there will be a “next time.” Shame on the NRA for wanting to protect its turf more than our children.
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I am in agreement with “Arm teachers” (Dec. 23 Letters to the Editor). The letter writer proposed developing protective skills of volunteers from teachers and other staff within the school. This has been Israel’s approach to the problem, and it has been defusing death-wish maniacs on a broader scale. Israel licenses trained, responsible adults so that armed civilians will be ready and able to defend themselves and others in public places.
With all our gun enthusiasts, there would not be a shortage of qualified volunteers. Israel’s homicide rate has always been low despite the greater availability of guns to citizens. I would like to think the solution will lean toward making the criminals feel less comfortable and the citizens a bit more comfortable. Our solution must take into account that the mentally ill and the criminals will not be responding to our established laws.
I recently attended a Christmas event downtown with my mom, my wife and my 2-year-old granddaughter. Both my mom and my wife commented that they were a little concerned about being downtown after dark. They did not know that I had a .38-caliber revolver with me.
I have been interested in firearms all of my life and have shot competitively. I own more firearms than the .38 that I had with me, including an AR-15. I’m 51 years old. I have a concealed-carry permit, and I have never shot up a mall, movie theater or school. I’ve been a member of the National Rifle Association for more than half of my life and will continue to support it.
I cannot begin to describe how I feel about the evil that manifested itself at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Unfortunately, evil exists.
I do not believe that legislation preventing people like me from legally owning firearms will ever prevent the mass killings, the evil, that recently has captured the attention of and saddened this nation.
Know gun facts
We are at a point at which there should be a debate on certain types of firearms that some call “assault rifles.” A debate usually starts with two sides of an argument armed with facts. The unfortunate thing about gun debate is that there are few actual facts coming from those who support public use of firearms. Due to the Tiahrt amendment, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is forbidden from releasing some data concerning violence with guns. This means that any arguments supporting the use of these weapons is either anecdotal or is coming from the National Rifle Association, which can hardly be unbiased.
The recent statement from the NRA said we need to label all people who have mental illness before we start talking about guns. Many of the sporting guns used today were fashioned for use with the military, and when that market dried up they were sold to individuals. The makers of Beretta handguns have admitted this much.
This is an emotional issue. We should start with leveling the playing field so that rational, thinking individuals know the facts.
President Obama insists on raising taxes on the rich. In 2008, Vice President Joe Biden said, “It’s time to be patriotic.” What he meant was that it was time to pay higher taxes.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said that “the most fortunate Americans” should bear a slightly larger burden of the privilege of being an American. Geithner was guilty of not paying all his income taxes in the recent past.
It is a privilege to be an American – as much for the poor as for the rich. The best place in the world to be poor is in America. Paying for Obama’s spending plan is not a privilege, nor anything in which we should take patriotic pride.
STEPHEN L. GUGLETA