Dont trust government
Only fools will allow government to be the only ones with guns. History has shown that without a means to restrain a despotic government you will eventually be enslaved. Our founders knew that men were not angels and would seek to rule over their subjects. They insisted that a Bill of Rights be added to our Constitution to restrain such men. Is it any wonder Obama and his minions wish to finish the destruction of the Bill of Rights?
Obviously, our government acts against the people they serve. If not true, there would not be any unconstitutional departments and agencies, with their thousands of laws and regulations to limit our freedoms. All three branches have capitulated to the big money interests and have relinquished their fiscal responsibilities and defense of the Constitution. They have abandoned any thought of checks and balances.
Taking away our right to possess any type of arms, equal to that used by police and military, only serves to give government power over the people. Enacting laws to confiscate, or limit gun ownership, will never prevent crazed individuals, or governments, from murdering children. Consider governments view on abortion, terrorism and regulations that prevent freedom to choose.
ROBERT B. MURRAY II, Caldwell
Obama on right track
I can still smell the gunpowder and see the black smoke in the small-town cinder-block shooting range. I remember the little blocks of wood holding .22-caliber shells, the white targets with black rings in the bulls-eyes, and the wire pulley used to hang and move the target. I was in elementary school and a proud member of the Junior Rifle Association. I have five medals to show for my efforts.
My dad was an avid hunter who took my brother and me hunting until we left home. His rifle was passed down to my nonhunting son, who cherishes his grandpas gun. I no longer hunt or target shoot and Im no longer a member of the NRA. But Im still a gun owner and I still carry a pistol when trail-riding.
What is my point?
I support the Second Amendment right to own and bear arms. I also support President Obamas gun control reform. I believe that no private citizen needs to hunt or to protect themselves with assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
I believe that our forefathers, despite their wisdom, could not comprehend the weapons of human destruction that have been invented and used against innocents.
LINDA SIMMONS, Boise
Thinking points on guns
Some thoughts on gun control:
1) I find it highly unlikely that a good guy with a gun is truly a deterrent to these sorts of shootings since nearly all of these guys killed themselves, anyway. To make that work, you would have to have armed snipers at every entrance to every school, mall, theater, church, etc. Do you really want to live like that just to protect your right to own assault rifles?
2) Nearly all these shooters were law-abiding citizens who obtained their weapons legally, so I dont buy the idea that tighter laws punish law-abiding citizens.
3) Yes, criminals could still find guns, but we can make it difficult so those with temporary mental issues might have time to rethink their plans. The fact is, we have no control over the mental state and actions of others, so if we want to do something to prevent these tragedies, here is what we can do: Refuse to spend money on video games and movies with gun violence, and support the proposed gun laws! Keep your hunting rifles if you like, but theres no need for regular citizens to have these assault weapons.
CAROLYN SWAIN, Boise
A nation of distrust
I reside in a rural community in Idaho, but am originally from suburban New York. I moved here in the hope that within our founders concept of federalism, that those elsewhere would find solutions to their problems without impressing those solutions on those who have no need of them, per the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution amendments that have suffered a long train of abuses.
Now, we openly contemplate the Second Amendment a statement of trust between government and those governed. Its price, rightly, should be a respect for the human life. Since my retreat to rural life, I fear what I read in many editorials. Have we truly become a nation which only views people as Facebook pages, unable to separate real lives from video games? Are we truly a nation with such distrust of our neighbors, even ourselves, that we would sell our collective liberties? If we truly are unworthy of such trust, what is the purpose of representative government?
Be wary, America, for as the peoples of Libya and Syria may counsel, liberties lost are hard won. My fear is that our epitaph will be: Those who would give up liberty to purchase safety deserve neither.
SCOTT A. WINGERTER, Soda Springs
Public inspired to buy more guns
Amidst the almost crazy (on both sides) ongoing gun debate, a couple things seem to run right past the folks demanding gun control.
First, the people rushing out, stripping the shelves of certain model firearms and ammo, are primarily not doing so to go hunting or find protection from criminals. The firearms and ammo they buy are to protect themselves from gun opponents and a government doing exactly what the government says it wont do. Lets name this the Second Amendment call option.
The president has ensured millions feel the need to protect themselves from the government. Why has he done that? Nothing the president or any other gun opponent says changes that. The louder they claim the opposite, the more frantic the buying becomes. Gun opponents open their mouths and sell another million guns, half a billion rounds of ammo. The NRA gets another 250,000 members. Yet, opponents keep talking. Why?
Second, theres an added difference. The pace is so unprecedented and frantic in a way suggestive of a people preparing for disaster or catastrophe, too. The people subtly know something their leaders apparently do not about guns, budgets, debt and deficits. They see the emperors have no clothes.
JEFF WRIGHT, Lowman
Learn from history
The Minutemen at Concord started the fight for our freedom from a tyrannical government with arms that were kept in their homes. I hope we learn from history and maintain the ability to protect our freedoms from being taken by the next tyrannical government. The first step of dictators coming to power throughout history is the taking of arms from their citizens. The purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure we had the means to defend our freedoms without having to resort to throwing stones and bricks to do so.
HARRY BRANNER, Boise
No threat to freedoms
I know that you must publish all sides of an issue, however, the latest diatribe from Earl Benedict, Guns are essential, tells a ridiculous polemic. Freedom to own guns is not being threatened. The proposal is that a prospective gun purchaser pass a background check and that all guns need to be registered. Just like you have to pass a driving test and your car must be registered. In addition to those simple rules, guns that can produce a massacre would not be available to purchase.
If Earl thinks regulating guns will make each of us vulnerable to losing freedoms, I will personally pay for him to go to Newtown to speak with the parents of 20 dead children who were the vulnerable ones facing a high-power, multi-magazine gun.
Lets halt the easy ownership of high-power weapons with rapid repeating-fire magazines that should be only in the hands of law enforcement and the military.
Earl, if you have one of these massacre-capable guns, I hope you have it under lock and key and that no one other than yourself has the key.
JOHN C. FREEMAN, Boise
A gun, on its own, cannot cause injury or death. It has to be manipulated by a human. The actions that resulted in those deaths in Newtown were behavioral rather than mechanical.
What spawns such behavior? Every few weeks, Hollywood offers us another brutal, blood-splattering movie, and we enthusiastically take them in. The video game industry produces violent games that reward good shooting and more killing, and we allow our children to practice with them every day, for hours. Together, Hollywood and the video game industry have created the most potent and compelling public killing-field training in the world, and we buy it and serve it to our families. And its from these home-based boot camps that capable mass murderers increasingly emerge.
Unfortunately, we wont address the bad behavior that caused those deaths and will cause future deaths. Whenever we experience a tragedy such as Newtown, we dont consider our poor parenting as a contributing cause. And Hollywood and the video game industry hide behind the skirts and coattails of their purchased politicians and an adoring news media who shield and protect the true villains by pointing their crooked fingers at only the inanimate gun.
CRAIG JACOBSON, Idaho Falls
Gun saves two lives
In a recent letter, the writer stated that she must be missing all the stories about the lives saved when someone pulled a gun and questioned if there were any.
Earlier this year. my wife and I took an adult dog into our home. In the flash of a second he went from a sweet and loving companion to a raging animal bent on killing with a relentless attack. Without a gun at the ready, we would have lost our lives that night. Had I not taken his life when I did, my wife would have bled to death before we could call for help.
I cant say why the writer is not hearing about cases like ours. I can say that without a gun, she would have read about the couple found dead in their home, the result of a dog attack. It probably wouldnt have even occurred to her that had they been armed theyd still be alive. I would never have thought this could happen to us, but it did. And because I chose a long time ago to make sure that I could protect myself against the unthinkable, we are alive.
RICHARD STARLEY, Boise
People oppose controls
Second Amendment supporters rally in Rexburg.
Great article! Except for the fact that the only poll quoted at the end is the most skewed gun poll in recent times.
The 53 percent who favor and the 41 percent who oppose the further regulation of firearms according to that poll is actually much different than that. Most of the legitimate independent polls show that more Americans are against more gun control than favor them by an overwhelming majority.
So in order to keep from misrepresenting the American people and maintain some modicum of credibility as a reporter, I would suggest a little more depth in your fact-checking.
GERRY BROWN, Nampa