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June 5, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Seattle shootings spur debate over guns

We need to take control

Thank you for the “stunningly obvious” editorial, “Stop the mayhem,” May 31.

Seattle knows gangs are behind the recent random shootings. We know guns are linked with drugs and prostitution. We know about, and live in crime “hot spots” where gun activity is high. We know we need “ winnable” measures to close gun-show loopholes, etc. Police say guns, not gangs are the problem. Remove the guns then!

Bring back the “money for guns” program. Or create a voluntary drop-off program at stations that are easy to get to, and anonymous.

We need to take control of our homes, look for unlicensed guns, turn them in, throw them away or bury them.

Society needs controls. It’s obvious when we consider banning big sodas, trans fats, or taxing candy, cigarettes, liquor, fuel, etc. Ammunition is taxed at our standard sales-tax rate.

If we can’t control licensed guns because of the Second Amendment, we can try to control unlicensed guns, limit or tax ammunition sales. Guns are useless without ammo.

No more stewing. Start doing.

— Sheila Walsh, Seattle

A veritable armed camp

We humans are a violent species the world over, and Americans are right up there with the best of them. The U.S. has evolved into a veritable armed camp. Yes, people kill other people for all kinds of reasons. Mental problems, hatred, anger, gang warfare, stupidity and carelessness.

Contrary to the gun culture fantasy world, seldom are the deaths those of the neighborhood rapist beating the bedroom door down. Mankind has ascertained after many millennia that if something is dangerous, (cars, knives, poison, drugs, guns, etc.) we restrict access, ownership and/or require knowledge of its potential danger.

Most people who support sensible regulation, education about and ownership of guns, do not want to ban firearms altogether. However, the Second Amendment, which made sense in our early days as a republic, needs to be revisited and made to comport to our modern world.

We are essentially gravitating back to a “wild west” environment, and when the frightened townsfolk rebel and demand guns be checked at the door — well, you know what happens. The NRA and its legion of followers tell us guns aren’t the problem, and that if everyone had one, we would all be equal.

Prepare for more gunfire, deaths, maiming and tears, and lives snuffed out way before their time.

— Henry Thompson, Seattle

Awash in handguns

The United States is a nation absolutely awash in handguns. Anyone who wants one can have one ... or two ... or ten, or even a basement full of them. The NRA

will insist that its their God-given right under our Constitution.

However, the first four words of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States are “A well regulated Militia.” It’s my guess that there are millions of people in this country bearing arms who are not part of any “well regulated militia” and therefore, fall outside the protection of the Second Amendment.

I think they should be given a choice to either become part of “well regulated Militia” or surrender their guns. The violence will then begin to subside.

— Gary Nelson, Bellingham

Enough is enough

Here we go again: more deaths at the hands of people using guns. And the gun worshippers begin their indefensible defense of guns, saying the worn-out saw, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

Yes and those people include children killing children. And the absurd comparison of guns and knives, as if there are drive-by knifings, as if a stray knife killed a man while driving in his van, the famous D.C. knife sniper — and who would you bet on between a knife-wielding Maurice Clemmons and four Lakewood police officers?

Gun worshippers with their paranoid fantasy of the falling dominoes of their rights lead them to the ultimate conclusion: “take my gun from my cold dead hands.” Defending a rigid interpretation of a doctrine that in its extreme is not all that different from an extreme religious interpretation that condones suicide bombing, flying airplanes into buildings, poisoning young girls for going to school, and embracing or at least accepting the death of innocents as the price of advancing and protecting that interpretation.

We recoil against the thought of “weapons of mass destruction” but embrace the “right” to use and own weapons of individual destruction that too often result in multiple deaths at the hands of gun users. When did our picture of “freedom” include a trigger and a barrel? When will the majority who do not worship guns, including many gun owners, say, “enough is enough”?

— Frank Jose, Seattle

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