Restrictions will leave citizens vulnerable
After the recent school shootings and calls for further restrictions on gun ownership, I would like to share an instance I had that involved my use of a gun. I owned a business for 10 years and carried a concealed weapon, with all the required permits and registration. One evening, as I was locking up my store, I was approached by a man who demanded money from me. I told him no, but he became more aggressive, pulling out a knife and saying, Give me your money or I will cut you. At this point I drew my pistol and calmly told him to go away. I have never seen a man run so fast in my life as that guy did after looking down the barrel of my gun. I did not need to shoot in this instance but I would not have hesitated to pull the trigger if he came at me. My ability to be a lawful gun owner saved me from a robbery attempt or something even worse. Taking away our right to own a firearm will only make lawful citizens more vulnerable to instances like this.
KEN ARTLEY, Kuna
Licensing is better than gun control
Well-meaning, but uninformed, anti-gun people are again calling for gun control, confiscation or limiting ownership of so-called assault rifles and large capacity magazines. They somehow do not realize that we have tried all this before, and it didnt work then, and will likely not work now. The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibited felons, minors and people with mental problems from owning, or being in possession of, a firearm. The total result of this well-meaning but poorly thought-out law is to make a lot of unneeded and redundant paperwork that is seldom, if ever, looked at or referred to. We have laws regulating use and ownership of narcotics and prescription drugs; how well has that worked out for us? How can such control laws ever be effective if they cannot be enforced?
Many times we have heard, Guns dont kill people, people kill people? Well, that being accepted, think about identifying people who are qualified to have a gun. If everyone who wanted a gun was required to go through a process similar to obtaining a gun-carry permit, and be issued a gun owners license, it would clean up undesirable gun owners and questionable people.
ROBERT GLENN, JR., Boise
Make gun owners pay, and pay heavily
The vast majority of Americans see that something constructive must be done to curb this spiraling trend of gun deaths. The National Rifle Association vows, no compromise no retreat. Rather than arguing the merits of each side, I simply suggest that we allow people to buy these guns, and the ammo too, but tax them heavily. Treat them like cigarettes. Its in our interest to discourage smoking, so we tax them many times their actual cost. Lets tax guns and ammo two or three times their actual cost. Then maybe we could afford the NRAs solutions: putting armed guards in schools, and paying and training thousands of mental health professionals to weed out possible nut cases. Armed teachers should be compensated for training and putting themselves in harms way every day. Background checks to monitor gun sales? You know they wont come cheap! I dont own assault weapons. I dont buy the ammo either. So why should the NRA get away with encouraging the unrestricted sale of these weapons without paying the costs of the solutions it so glibly proposes?
BILL AHAUS, Greenleaf
Heres a sensible plan
Since the Sandy Hook school shooting, some Hollywood celebrities have come together and produced a public service announcement asking citizens around the U.S. to demand a plan from our elected officials to stop gun violence. They make this appeal as mothers, fathers, spouses, friends, Americans and human beings for the children of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. This appeal, punctuated by the statements, Its time, and Enough, says citizens should demand a plan from lawmakers. What this appeal of celebrities is missing is, what kind of plan? Many citizens have no clue what the Second Amendment is (Idaho is an exception), or why it was included in the Bill of Rights that was demanded by some of our Founding Fathers as a prerequisite of them signing the Constitution. So are these stars and starlets to be heeded in their call to demand a plan to end gun violence? I say yes, but not because we have a fear of assault weapons. The plan must focus on the pursuit of criminals and care of the mentally ill. That is the plan we must demand as Americans and human beings.
ISAAC JONES, Boise
Historical context, from World War II
The discussion regarding gun control lacks historical context. In World War II, over 13 million M-1 Garand and Carbines were manufactured for the U.S. and its allied forces. These semi-automatic rifles were what most soldiers carried. Fully automatic weapons, such as the Thompson submachine gun and the Browning automatic rifle, were produced in far fewer numbers. The M-1 had an eight-round clip.
Today's bickering over large-capacity magazines seems to ignore how effective an eight-round clip was in defeating Germany, Italy and Japan in World War II. Yes, there were plenty of heavy machine guns and other automatic weapons in World War II, but most soldiers did their soldiering without large capacity magazines.
Why is there a need for large capacity magazines today?
JOSEPH GALLAGHER, Boise