Gun debate rages in wake of Connecticut shootings
Take a breath
The NRA says “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” [“NRA: For safe schools, ‘a good guy with a gun,’” page one, Dec. 22.] It is the world of John Wayne.
I would like to go one step further. “Every schoolchild should be trained to run faster than the speed of a bullet.” Then, we do not need to worry.
Do you think any foreign countries would readily accept the idea of the American democracy in which every school needs to be protected by armed personnel? Somehow, I am quite sure that most of them, if not all, will say “No thank you” to a society controlled by violence, and the large part of the U.S. worldwide peacekeeping efforts may be wasted in the end.
I sense religious fervor and raw emotion from the NRA and some gun advocates who do not seem to leave any room for reason. If you charge up yourself one way, it inevitably creates counter energy. It is the law of the universe.
Let’s neutralize ourselves and open up sincere and meaningful conversation to set a goal. It may be a tedious process and take a generation or even longer to notice a significant effect, but Rome was not built in a day and I do not think lasting, peaceful America can be built in a day either. Let’s take a deep breath.
Tadamasa Ichikawa, Bellevue
The National Rifle Association missed an opportunity to be part of the solution. Instead it redoubled their effort to be a major part of the problem.
Its proposal makes the case that guns will help us deal with the problem of too many guns. Probably not incidentally, it could also further the NRA’s ongoing campaign to “make guns cool,” with deputies standing tall Old West style against gun-toting predators, armed with weapons the NRA has helped make plentiful.
Worse, the proposal would continue the ongoing advance of the United States as a surveillance state by essentially turning public-school students into prisoners under lock and key. It also would go a long way to make the world seem even more dangerous than it is, thus making Americans even more fearful than they already are.
Instead we need to make it harder for people to own guns that make mass murder easy. Now is also an excellent time to think harder about the intent and the actual wording of the Second Amendment. The country’s founders would recoil if they knew how their words have been twisted beyond recognition. Perhaps in the meantime, the NRA, gun manufacturers and their supporters in Congress and the Supreme Court can let us know what “well-regulated militia” Adam Lanza belonged to?
Douglas Schuler, Seattle
Armed guards in every school? More guns to protect the good people?
In movies, it usually ends well. But in real life there’s no single person writing the script to get to that fairy tale ending. It can only end tragically.
Toni Haley, Seattle
Let’s have some sense
The NRA was not written into the Constitution.
The militias formed during the revolutionary period are now known as the National Guard.
Let’s have some sense in this country.
No automatic or semi-automatic weapons sold — period. No high-powered bullets sold. No large-capacity magazines sold.
And put the NRA back where it was originally: a gun club for hunters.
Leon R. Harris, Lake Forest Park
The quest for simple answers
We always seem to be looking for the most expedient answers in our “instant” society. The single-sentence declaration by NRA’s LaPierre is just another example. Ours has become a culture that seeks simple solutions through two major channels, to wit: firearms and pharmacology.
We grant ready access to both and through our various media we strongly promote their use. Got a health problem? Take a pill. Got a people problem? Pull out your gun.
For all the growth of social media, what we really have lost is the concept of family and neighborhood. That is what we should be promoting. I don’t doubt that there are people out there who have hundreds of “friends” on Facebook, but who probably don’t even know the people who live on either side of them.
The only time that we seem to become conscious about really looking out for each other is after a disaster. In the times leading up to that, we are mostly concerned about numero uno, because that is the message in the media.
Thomas Munyon, Marysville
Fear and paranoia
Although I am no fan of the proliferation of guns in our culture, I have been indifferent toward the debate over the extent of Second Amendment rights — that is until hearing of the NRA’s solutions for school safety.
NRA executive VP Wayne LaPierre’s comments, which included saying that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, reeked from a mixture of arrogance, fear and paranoia.
I understand and respect the principles and reasoning underpinning the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment gives the right to defend against violence, whether stemming from certain criminal behavior or tyranny. I may not agree wholeheartedly with it, but I get it.
But where do we draw the line with the type of weaponry a person should be allowed to own under Second Amendment rights?
It seems reasonable to me that any weapon that has the ability to kill so many so quickly exceeds the intent of the Second Amendment and should be banned. That these types of weapons are so easily obtained in our culture by those wishing to do harm is both irresponsible and inexcusable.
There is a special kind of grief one feels when hearing of the slaughter of children. I agree with the president that it is happening too often in our culture now and it is time to take action to prevent it. The evidence suggests that a ban on semi-automatic weapons with high-capacity magazines will go a long way toward achieving that goal.
Brian Bodenbach, Carnation