Blame government, not the NRA
Regarding “Gun-control efforts won’t be as urgent” (Sept. 23 Letters to the Editor): A mentally unstable individual – who should not have had a military security clearance, who had previous problems with guns and who should have been in the database for background checks showing he had mental problems – was able to buy a shotgun, enter a military facility and kill 12 people. And that is the National Rifle Association’s fault? I fail to see the logic behind blaming the NRA for a failure of our government to enforce laws already on the books or to ensure that those with mental issues are identified and their security clearance revoked and ability to purchase guns restricted.
The NRA has said for years that the mental-health system in this country is broken and needs to be fixed, but all our government can think of is restricting ownership of guns for everyone. Even if President Obama pushes new gun laws through Congress, it will do nothing to reduce the gun violence in this country. Cities with the most-restrictive gun laws often have the most violence, which should be a clue that restricting gun ownership does not work.
If the government wants to enact new laws, it needs to address the real issues. Fix the mental-health system, get better information available for use when doing the background checks, and enforce the laws prohibiting felons from having guns. This would do more to keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them than all the restrictions on types of guns and capacity of magazines would ever do.
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ROBERT S. KAILER
Guns vs. cars
A reader wrote: “With all the shootings, it is easy to blame the gun. Yet we do not blame the car for killing more people” (“Tell the truth,” Sept. 23 Letters to the Editor).
That is correct; we do not blame the car for killing people. However, please consider the following:
By law, you have to have a license to drive a car. To get your driver’s license, you have to pass a written test and a driving test. You have to register a car when you buy it, you have to display a license tag on your car, and you have to notify the state when you sell a car. By law, you have to have liability insurance on your car, and you have to wear seat belts. If you have a specified number of moving violations, you must surrender your driver’s license. The list goes on, but I am sure you get the idea.
I am not advocating that we place the same level of restrictions on guns as we do on cars, but it concerns me that we can accept more laws and regulations controlling the use of cars than we can accept for guns, which are specifically designed to kill. It concerns me more that we cannot even accept restrictions on guns that are specifically designed to kill human beings.
Can we at least come up with some reasonable, commonsense regulations that would help prevent the mentally ill from purchasing guns, and that would assist law enforcement officials in enforcing the current gun laws?
A man under contract to the government carrying a legitimate pass walked into the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., with a loaded shotgun and killed 12 people – this despite the military having information that he was unstable. Could it be that our government is so engrossed in pawing through all our private communications that it simply doesn’t have time for its own? This certainly speaks volumes about our government’s competence. This disaster will probably lead to a strengthened surveillance of the public’s communications.
I’m concerned that University of Kansas journalism professor David Guth, who apparently wears his anti-gun-ownership philosophy on his sleeve, is in a position to teach young people (“KU professor on leave after tweet,” Sept. 21 Local & State). Is there any reason I should believe he leaves his anti-gun and other political beliefs at the door before he enters the classroom?
Even though he has exercised his freedom of speech in stating his opinion, shouldn’t it give the public pause that a professor paid by the taxpayer to teach students the profession of journalism (which I’ve always assumed involves learning how to think critically and objectively to shed more light than heat) tweeted regarding the Washington Navy Yard shooting, “The blood is on the hands of the NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters”?
Are those the words of a mature adult trying to inform and raise the level of discourse, or an ignorant adolescent in an adult body concerned only about his point of view? Should the public be concerned that the KU faculty teaches students that journalism can be a platform to promote ideological beliefs rather than a vehicle to objectively inform?
Guth doesn’t sound like a guy I would like teaching my child, or teaching any of the news reporters I hired when I owned a radio station.
Here’s another suggestion for the name of the new Wichita airport: “You Better Wear Your Bulletproof Underwear If You’re Stupid Enough to Be in Old Town After the Bars Close When Our Idiot Gangbangers Whip Out Their Illegally Acquired, Possessed and Concealed 9’s and Commence ‘Busting Caps’ at Each Other and Everyone Else in Sight/Dwight Eisenhower/Amelia Earhart/Clyde Cessna/Walter Beech/William Boeing/Air Capital/Wyatt Earp/Jim Ryun/BTK/Vern Miller Airport and Insane Crips Clubhouse and Cow Museum.”
MARTIN K. WAPLES