Letters to the editor on assault rifles, gun-free zones, religious crazy

06/07/2013 4:40 PM

06/07/2013 4:40 PM

Liberty without assault rifles

The author of “Rights for all” (May 26 Letters to the Editor) suggested that the right to own and shoot an assault rifle with a high-capacity magazine was an “essential liberty.” Nowhere in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights does it say that owning an assault rifle with a high-capacity magazine is an essential liberty. What is an essential liberty is the right to live peaceably without being shot by an assault rifle with a high-capacity magazine.

The author argued we can have it both ways, having the assault rifle and high-capacity magazine and the peaceful life, by focusing on enforcing existing laws and keeping these weapons away from people who should not have them. We will continue to enforce the laws, but time and bloody time again we have found that this does not solve the problem.

No matter how hard we try, people who should not have these guns will get them as long as they exist. They will. Everyone knows it.

So the choice remains: our nonessential little freedom to have assault rifles with high-capacity magazines to shoot at paper targets, or our essential freedom to enjoy life peacefully without fear of being shot with assault rifles with high-capacity magazines. When balancing the competing rights under the Constitution, there is much more liberty for all without these guns than with these guns.

JOHN HENDERSON

Wichita

Easy targets

On Dec. 14, 2012, a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and shot 20 children and six adults. Guns were not allowed in the school. It was a “gun-free zone,” which made it a safe place for him.

On July 20, 2012, a man in an Aurora, Colo., theater propped open a side door and brought in guns. He killed 12 and injured 58. Of the seven theaters within 20 minutes of his home showing the Batman movie that day, it was the only one that did not allow guns inside. It was not even the closest to his home. However, it was “gun-free” and was his choice.

On Nov. 5, 2009, a Muslim psychiatrist at Fort Hood in Texas began shooting soldiers, killing 13 and wounding 32. He didn’t have much to fear. Soldiers were not allowed to carry guns on base. It was a “gun-free zone.”

On April 16, 2007, a man entered a building at Virginia Tech and killed 32 people. He was quite safe, as the school was a “gun-free zone.”

Those who want to outlaw all guns say that if the whole country were a “gun-free zone,” we would all be safer. Those who believe them are called “liberals.”

GORDON BAKKEN

Chairman

Libertarian Party of South Central Kansas

Wichita

Religious crazy

I know of nothing crazier than religious crazy. And it isn’t limited to a particular brand.

Once people get the idea that they have perfect communion with God, all hell breaks loose. The rest of us are just infidels, in need of a thorough whipping into shape.

Irishmen kill their brethren, each against the other, because of the same book. A group of men do a massive death scene with commandeered jets. A Kool-Aid king takes his whole flock on a suicide trip to wherever he thinks he’s going. In Oklahoma, a couple of guys on their chosen mission blow up a federal building and the victims inside. For what? Two oddly dedicated zealots in Boston set off bombs to kill unknown innocents. A gunman pursuing his cause shoots a man doing service in his own church, to honor the Prince of Peace. And it’s all for the same god.

There is no fool greater than one guided by religious fervor, no sense of justice more warped. Lord, save us from your dedicated fanatics.

BETH VANNATTA

Halstead

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