Cities should issue bans
Cities and states should ban high-powered guns from being used for home protection on the simple basis of public safety.
Bullets fired within a home from an AR-15 or Bushmaster will travel through the walls and through the next five homes. High-powered pistols’ bullets will easily travel through the next home and into the third.
So when you start blasting away at a home intruder, you may very well kill one of your family or some of your neighbors. Here in the real world, beyond TV where the bullets stop at a car door or wall (brick or wood), those of you who bought these guns to “Protect Your Family” should trade them off for a shotgun. The shot will generally stop after the first wall, and due to the pattern spread is a much better weapon for home defense. Hitting an intruder in the face, arms or legs with a shotgun will severely injure the intruder, even wearing body armor.
I would ask the city councils to use some common sense, consult with the chief of police and form an ordinance that would keep these dangerous weapons from being fired within a city for home defense.
RONALD HARRIMAN, Nampa
Stop the insanity; use logic instead
Americans killed an estimated 618,000 fellow Americans with firearms during the Civil War, and not one of the firearms used in that bloody period of history met James M. Runsvold’s description of a “people-killing gun” (letters, Jan. 11). Today, existing semi-automatic rifles can be modified to fire Mr. Runsvold’s referenced .222 Remington Magnum or any other modern bullet with moderate changes to existing receivers and magazines. If we apply the “ban the magazine, ban the bullet” logic of firearms opponents to the tens of thousands of automobile-related deaths that occur annually in America, we must assume that cars, not drivers, kill people. The obvious answer would be to ban high-capacity fuel tanks, seize existing high-capacity fuel tanks and replace them with five-gallon fuel tanks, regulate and track the resale of high-capacity fuel tanks, and eliminate civilians trading in “illegal” fuel quantities. I agree that we need to stop the insanity. Let’s start by stopping the insanity of people trying to influence this important debate with false information and faulty logic.
WILLIAM D. BRADDOCK, Boise
Criminals find a way
Solving problems requires two criteria that “must” be met — accurate data on which to base decisions, and finding the “root cause” of the problem. When I read about the babies floating downstream, and the suggestion to walk back upstream, I thought, “Here’s someone who understands.” Not so fast. He only walked halfway back upstream. He never arrived at root cause, but jumped on an assumption without any solvent data. Oh, data! Numerous letters spout off numbers without any sources reflected. They are most often wrong.
Here’s real data: In 1997, Australia gathered up guns from the public. Here’s some statistics from The Australian Bureau of Statistics. Assaults on victims aged 65 and over: 1997, 12.8 percent increase over previous year; 1998, .06 percent increase; 1999, 7.8 percent increase.
For 2011: weapons were only used in 71 percent (172) of murders. Of those, guns were about 17 percent, knives 33 percent, all other weapons 21 percent. There were still 70 murders without weapons. If your intent is murder, you don’t need to use a gun. For 16,835 reported sexual assaults, 98 percent had no weapon used. Robberies: In 44 percent (5,958), there was no weapon used. If the victims had carried weapons, how many of these would have been averted? Criminals will find a way.
MICHAEL “MAGS” SHAW, Boise
The right to protect
We all enjoy the rights that were bestowed to us by our creator and written into a Bill of Rights to which we all get to exercise. At times we all are guilty of not appreciating what we as a nation possess — freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Can you think of a better foundation to build one’s life upon? A lot of time and preparation went into the drafting of our Constitution and our Bill of Rights to provide a long history for this nation and an opportunity for its citizens that the world had never seen. We can’t allow our emotions to influence common sense and remove any of the rights that are in place. Without one, all will soon fall. Our Founding Fathers had the foresight to put in place certain amendments to protect the American Dream. The right to bear arms is much more than owning a firearm. It’s the right to protect one’s self, loved ones, property and country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. We have a great honor that demands respect and responsibility. If you own a firearm, please make sure it’s secure and you safely understand how to use it.
A. ERIC NUTTING, Twin Falls
Balancing reason alongside rights
There are many reasons to admire former President George H.W. Bush, including his resigning his lifetime membership in the NRA in 1995. The NRA is a union of people of all backgrounds interested in various facets of gun ownership, but whose leadership has become too narrowly focused, too powerful and too rigid. The NRA can rightfully contend that gun control laws have not been successful in keeping guns away from criminals, in part, as the NRA has been successful in thwarting more effective gun control measures. As the Supreme Court has affirmed our rights as citizens to bear arms, there is no longer a reason to oppose government knowledge that we own firearms. The purchaser of each gun sold should be subject to a thorough background check against a national database kept current at all times. As allowed by the Supreme Court, we must determine what types of firearms and ammunition are “reasonable” for private ownership. Harsh penalties for failing to secure all guns can be enacted. Providing necessary funds to enforce gun laws can be politically achievable. We can make our citizenry safer by introducing reason into our Second Amendment rights.
TOM NEWTON, Caldwell
Good guys with guns
In the wake of the recent shootings at a school and movie theater, it is understandable that our society wants to prevent these horrific tragedies in the future. The media (and some politicians) seem to think gun control is the answer. The story that should have made headlines across our nation is that on Dec. 16 a crazed gunman entered a theater in San Antonio and started shooting. Before he killed anyone, he was shot by an off-duty deputy, demonstrating that the best thing to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. A hero who averts a tragedy should be celebrated, especially if that particular tragedy is one that our society is struggling to find ways to prevent in the future. Snopes.com confirms that the San Antonio theater shooting happened, and that Sgt. Lisa Castellano (yes, it was a woman who prevented the tragedy) received the medal of valor for her actions. God Bless America, the Second Amendment, and women who can shoot straight!
MARK LAMBERT, Twin Falls
“The hidden history of the Second Amendment.” The Second Amendment reads: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
The Second Amendment was not enacted to provide a check on the government’s tyranny; rather, it was written to assure the southern states that Congress would not undermine the slave system by using its newly acquired constitutional authority over the militia to disarm the state militia and thereby destroy the South’s principal instrument of slave control.
The basic strategy was to ensure and impress upon the slaves that whites were armed, watchful and ready to respond to insurrectionist activity at all times. Slavery was the central feature of life in slave-holding states, and the South depended on arms and the militia itself against the constant danger of a slave revolt. When John Brown seized the armory at Harpers Ferry with the intent of arming slaves, he threatened to upend the social order of the South. Southerners had to be infinitely more concerned about slave control than abstract, ideological or contingent beliefs about liberty and guns.
MALCOHM MCGREGOR, Boise
‘Clowns’ have an agenda
The anti-gun clowns are at it again. They are using the deaths of children to further their agenda for gun confiscation. I don’t think the anti-gun clowns give a rat’s patoot about your children’s safety. Sure they say they only want to get rid of assault weapons; but muzzleloaders were assault weapons not long ago. Before that it was bows and arrows, swords, clubs, rocks, etc.
Some say it is a ridiculous and dangerous idea to have armed people in schools. The school Obama’s children attend has 11 armed guards. Look it up on the Internet. If the anti-gun clowns cared more about your children’s safety than they do about roadkill, they would be training and arming teachers and paying them more. Teachers should not have to die in the line of fire without a chance to fight back. We could also use our ex-military people as guards because they are already trained and many need a job.
WALTER MINARD, Nampa