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December 31, 2012 at 8:40 AM

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Calls for gun control following Connecticut shooting

Message to NRA members

To the 4 million members of the NRA: We have heard from your leader, Wayne LaPierre, who gave an evasive, entirely self-serving rant in response to the Sandy Hook shootings. [“NRA: For safe schools, ‘a good guy with a gun,” page one, Dec. 22.]

Can we now hear from you? Do you stand by your leadership’s position? Or will you join hands with the rest of the country and try to find realistic solutions to gun violence in America? We cannot, and will not, do away with guns in this country, but we must make them harder to attain, better regulated and less destructive.

Kevin Schafer, Seattle

Guns exist to kill

Yet another letter writer defends guns [“Guns are not autonomous,” Northwest Voices, Dec. 27] by blaming the ones who use guns wrongly.

Actually, those who kill with a gun are using the gun exactly according to its purpose. Guns exist to kill people, to kill animals. Guns exist to kill. Guns with automatic magazines exist to kill many at once.

Guns have become their own commodity because of this fact and are sold covertly. Arguments about cars or kitchen knives wholly fail this purpose test. In fact, such arguments beg intelligence, as do “weapon control directives” for gun owners that insist one not use a gun for its purpose.

Cars and kitchen knives and the like may be used to kill but their purpose is not to kill. A gun has no other purpose, despite derived uses like sport target shooters where even they shoot at targets that are simply substitutes for people or animals.

The Second Amendment of the Constitution knew what guns were for and provided their legal use for defense, as weapons that aim to keep one safe by literally granting the right to kill in defense. All other claims defending guns consistently ignore that guns are made to kill. It is that simple.

The Rev. Bill Kirlin-Hackett, Lynnwood

Assault on the senses

The mentally ill will always be with us; assault weapons need not be.

Mental illness is fuzzy and difficult to diagnose; weapons are concrete and easy to identify.

If we remove the weapons of mass destruction, the amount of carnage that a disturbed individual can wreak before the police get there is limited.

Surely, placing clear and universal limits on assault weapons and ammunition is a more certain and economical way to protect ourselves and our children than reliance on a mental-health list and screening of gun purchasers, however well and thoroughly administered. In short, KISS (keep it simple, stupid). Anything else is obfuscation.

Constance Hellyer, Seattle

Where were the ‘good guys’?

Quick American history quiz for Wayne LaPierre: How many “good guys with guns” (i.e. Secret Service agents and police) were guarding Ronald Reagan when he (along with James Brady and an agent) was shot by John Hinkley Jr?

Bill Hastings, Renton

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