No reasons for bans
The Second Amendment is very clear in regard to gun ownership. It says shall not be infringed. Part of the definition of infringe is to encroach or trespass. Passing of laws banning certain styles of firearms or their integral parts is a definitive encroachment upon that right.
The fact as reported in national crime statistics is that assault-rifle-style firearms are used in a fraction of a percent of gun crimes. There is no logical or factual basis for any sort of ban on their possession.
I do believe they need to make NICS data contributions mandatory for all states. There are 21 states that do not provide mental health data to NICS. Idaho is one of them.
As a registered concealed-weapons owner and family member of someone with severe mental illness, I do support a change to the BATFE Form 4473 for background checks as well. There is a question that asks if the applicant has ever been hospitalized for mental health issues. I believe that question should include all persons in the immediate household.
IAN ADAMS, Boise
Checks make sense
The firearms community should accept near universal background checks for firearms purchases and transfers. Exceptions should be made for transfers between family members or exchanges, for example, between people who have concealed weapons licenses and have already submitted to rigorous background checks.
If citizens believe that severely mentally ill people and ex-felons should not easily acquire firearms, then requiring private sellers to use the same National Instant Background Checks System as dealers are required to use, only makes sense. It is irrelevant that the recent shooting in Newtown, Conn., would not have been stopped by a background check. The point is that there should not be an easy avenue for criminals to get guns; they should be forced to steal them.
If Second Amendment aficionados worry that background checks are a back door to registration tomorrow and confiscation in a generation, then they should oppose all background checks. It is easier to defend the Second Amendment as a protection for individuals to own military-style weapons (as opposed to hunting rifles) than it is to invoke the Constitution as a firewall against background checks. The logic simply does not carry.
FRED BIRNBAUM, Boise
Situation 1, Sept. 11, 2001: four coordinated suicide attacks, nearly 3,000 killed. Weapon: box cutters. (Perspective Pearl Harbor: ships and 353 enemy aircraft killed 2,402 Americans.) Oklahoma City bombing, 168 victims, accomplished with fertilizer and a truck.
Lesson 1 Without firing a single shot, a large number of victims, including children in day care, can be made by terrorists, the mentally ill and everyday items.
Situation 2, Dec. 11, 2012, Clackamas, Ore., mall shooting: two dead by an untrained shooter with a stolen weapon. Days later Newtown, Conn. 20 children and six adults shot and killed by a trained shooter.
Lesson 2 For self-esteem, you dont teach the mentally ill to shoot an assault rifle. Teach them art, sports or music. The results of Adam Lanzas actions wouldve been different if his weapon had been a baseball bat or guitar.
Situation 3, Dec. 24, 2012, Webster, N.Y.: two firefighters and the sister dead.
Lesson 3 That mentally ill person killed his grandmother with a hammer why wasnt he in prison for life?
Terrorists, mentally ill and convicted murders are the problem, not the law abiding citizen.
MARTIN V. DUARTE, Kuna
Assault weapons serve one purpose
Let me define my dictionary meaning of assault to begin this letter. Assault: A violent attack, an unlawful attempt to harm another person. Now, assault weapons are made with the purpose of making violent attacks on others. In war, that is what we do, try to kill those nasty people on the other side. Hunters who use assault weapons would need to hang bits and bloody pieces of their prey on their wall to show off. Sorry, but assault weapons have just one purpose: killing, killing, killing people. People who buy assault weapons must have the reason that they want to assault others, kids, moviegoers, or people in general. People who sell them must know this and are a part of the problem.
THOMAS EDGAR, Boise
If some people really believe that guns do not kill people but that people kill people, does it not make sense to restrict the tools that these people who kill people have easy access to?
Why allow them an assault rifle that is designed to be easy to handle, fast and easy to reload and has a high-capacity magazine?
Let them have only a long gun or handgun that is harder to handle and reload and does not have a high-capacity magazine.
Then a person or persons may have a chance to get to them and stop the carnage.
There is no reason that persons other than the military or law enforcement need to have assault rifles or high-capacity magazines.
ODOS LOWERY, Boise
Dont blame guns
As a rebuttal to Mr. Runsvold, I dont find the idea of legislating technology to be a useful action against criminals. I find it strange that such an opinion could find succor in any citizen of the state of Idaho. Guns are not problems; guns are machines. They have no ability to take action on their own. They dont insert magazines in themselves, they dont aim themselves, and if the former doesnt occur, they cant fire themselves even if the sear breaks. Making the guns go away doesnt make the bad people go away. What was suggested is a nonsensical non-solution to a non-problem.
Lets examine more carefully the arms and chamberings mentioned. Streetsweepers are DD, and regulated under the NFA of 1934. Also by way of obfuscation the 1-gauge they fire isnt mentioned. Military caliber bans are a bad idea. .308, .30-06, .30-40 Krag, .45-70, .38 special, .303 british, 7 and 8mm, 45 long Colt, .38 S&W, .22 lr and many others are military. If reloading of these is prohibited, then all calibers based on these would disappear as well. Bye bye .25-06. .222 Rem is the parent brass for .223, and the original chambering for Eugene Stoners AR-15.
We dont need gun control, we need nut control.
WILLIAM D. REKOW, Emmett
No to more laws
As a fire medic in the Bay Area with 27 years on the job, Ive seen gun violence. I have never thought that more gun laws were needed. We are on a dangerous path if we dont study history. In 1988 the phrase assault weapon was created by the Violence Policy Center to purposely confuse the public about the difference between full-auto and semi-auto rifles.
The 1934 National Firearms Act resulted from Prohibition. The 11 years of a failed alcohol ban created a black market with full-auto and short shotguns the weapons of choice for gangsters. The 1938 German gun laws against the Jews were used as the basis for the 1968 U.S. gun laws, and historically registration has always led to confiscation. The 1997 gun ban in Australia was a failure. Five years after the ban, violent crime had increased 42.2 percent. U.S. violent crime had decreased 31.8 percent for the same period.
Try www.justfacts.com, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research institute with verifiable facts with topics like global warming (wrong again, liberals). Check www.ncpa.org, the National Center for Policy Analysis, another non-political research organization.
MARK WARNER, Eagle
That was so nice of Randall Melson of Caldwell to wait until the tears dried before attacking the proponents of gun control (Letters, Dec. 24). As soon as our tears dry, its all over, eh? Back to business as usual. Guns are great, and never mind the families in Newtown who were missing a child this Christmas.
I dont believe the NRA has the right idea of what makes for a safe and sane society.
To me, a gun is the gateway weapon for war, just like marijuana is the gateway drug to drug abuse. A peaceful world would be one without guns or war, it seems to me. Glorifying guns and violence perpetuates killing.
I dont just want to ban guns I want to ban the NRA on the grounds it contributes to domestic terrorism. Guns are part of the problem, not part of the solution. There is a movement out there to repeal the Second Amendment, and I support it.
CAROL BACHELDER, Boise