NRA head is wrong
The Wayne LaPierre pro-gun arguments are both wrong and dishonest:
1. The Second Amendment right-to-bear-arms clause is not absolute. In 1939, 1980 and 1991 the Supreme Court upheld banning of sawed-off shotguns, machine guns or Tommy guns and prohibiting felons or the mentally ill from buying or possessing any firearm.
2. Claiming past gun control measures haven't worked fails to acknowledge how NRA lobby influence neutered the current laws. The gun-show/private-sale loophole they orchestrated allows 40 percent of gun purchases to bypass any background check and their forced "grandfather" clause left an estimated 1.5 million assault weapons on the streets. Is it any wonder gun violence still exists?
3. Arguing that "technically" an AR-15 Bush Master isn't an assault weapon because it is a semiautomatic is playing semantics. Any gun capable of firing 60 rounds per minute is capable of mass murder, which is the real point.
4. Hysterically claiming the government is trying to "take away our guns" ignores the simple fact that no gun control advocate has proposed such a law. LaPierre's blatantly obvious arguments are aimed at protecting and increasing arms industry profits.
TEX BEAUCHAMP, Meridian
Those seven words
For some, it seems, "the right to keep and bear arms" are the most important seven words in America's Constitution. They seem to think these seven words are the backbone of the Constitution.
These seven words are the glue that hold America together. These seven words are more important than any oath they may have taken. These seven words are far more important than anything Christ may have said.
Some have gone so far as to assure the American people that any attempt to infringe on these seven words will lead to war, and as one man said, "It won't be a war of words."
I support the Second Amendment. I support the right of the people to keep and bear arms. But I will not support anyone or any organization that threatens America with war. "It won't be a war of words" are seven words I will not support.
ROY LUNSFORD, Kuna
Mandate trigger locks
The people shooting and killing children at schools, also the people in a collective area like a movie house, are not felons, murderers, killers, terrorists and such. It is the children, killing children by the irresponsible adults that will not keep their weapons locked up in a safe place, with trigger locks locked.
My view is to make it law for all gun owners of all weapons, military and civilian weapons in a family area, have trigger locks locked on, and if the weapons are found without trigger locks, locked on, then they will be fined $5,000 per weapon, or the weapons will be released to the authority.
JOHN WEST, Emmett
Protect gun rights
The Second Amendment was created to protect the citizens (us) against attack from aggression not only from outside (crooks, foreign invasion, etc.) but from within (government takeover and tyranny).
This amendment must not be violated. Cases in point: Australia took away all handguns and most other firearms from their citizens just over two years ago. Crime in Australia is up 500 percent, murder is up 300 percent, and they have a new crime, home invasion, that they never had before.
Yet, Switzerland requires all males to serve in the military and they must keep their issued weapons, in good condition, for life. They have never been invaded and have the lowest crime rate, with virtually no murders, in the world. Take away weapons from the citizens and you open up your country to the criminals.
Gun bans only penalize law-abiding citizens and do nothing to actually ban guns. Crooks will still get their guns, but honest citizens will be left defenseless. The 1994 Assault Weapons Ban did nothing to reduce crime. It was found to be totally worthless and was not reinstated. An AR15 is not an M16. Protect the Constitution.
DOUGLAS FOOTE, Eagle
The test of time
I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to find a grain of logic in the gun control fiasco. I am baffled as how an inanimate object can be "good" or "bad."
By their logic, a rifle with a polished wood stock, a blue finish that holds five rounds, is "good" and the same rifle, with a black plastic stock, a flash hider, with a dull finish and a handle on top that holds 20 rounds is "bad?"
An object, be it a firearm, a car, knife or ball bat, cannot be responsible for an action of any kind; it is immobile until moved by an intelligence. How anyone with half a mind can blame any action on an unthinking mass of metal is far beyond any intelligent logic.
The Constitution, including the Second Amendment, has served America well for almost 240 years, and by adhering to it, has created the most productive, successful, free and powerful nation in history, and the right to firearms ownership and use is paramount in the founding fathers' document, and as far as I am concerned the Constitution is set in stone!
WILLIAM GARDOSKI, Meridian
Think of possibilities
I fully support the Second Amendment to our Constitution in its historic and original context. We need well-regulated militias of citizen soldiers providing their own weaponry to defend our nation. Today we call these militias The National Guard. Every able-bodied citizen should train with his and her neighbors. In time of need, we should be prepared.
Just think of all overworked professional soldiers who could catch their breath while Wayne LaPierre led a company of lobbyists into Afghanistan, Ted Nugent could lead the over-the-hill rocker brigade, Sarah Palin and the hockey moms, Larry Craig and the washed up politicians: The list is endless. And George W. Bush could finally make it into combat since he could afford to buy a plane.
Yes, this is all absurd. Yet it is historically accurate and reflects original intent in the writing of the Second Amendment. And any argument that gives another reason for the creation of the Second Amendment is even more absurd.
TOM GRIFFIN, Boise
Criminals have the edge
I would like to answer a question asked by Rob Strong as well as several other people.
Why do I need an assault rifle and high-capacity magazine? (It's a magazine not a clip). It's pretty simple.
Let's say some brain-dead idiot decides to publish a list of gun owners in the local newspaper and Johnny Felon gets up at the crack of noon, sees the list and decides he will take his stolen AK 47 and break into my home and steal my guns. My six-shooter isn't much good against his 30-round magazine.
I would like to be on an even playing field with this idiot, because one of us is going to die and I'd much rather it was him. Australia forced gun owners to give up all automatic weapons, they collected and destroyed 640,000 guns. Criminal assault rose 69 percent.
Assault by guns rose 19 percent. Home invasions up 21 percent. Crime went up, not down. Ever wonder why several years ago law enforcement went from carrying a revolver to an automatic weapon? Because they were outgunned by the bad guy.
CLIFF GROSSMAN, Meridian
Weapons have changed
The Second Amendment was written by the framers of the Constitution at a time when there was no standing army, only a militia made up of farmers and others in case of Indian attacks.
The framers of the Constitution did not certainly think of anything as advanced as assault rifles, Glocks and multiple-bullet magazines.
People should be reasonable in their interpretation of our Constitution. If assault rifles and multiple-bullet magazines were banned, why are some feeling their right to arms would be usurped? They would still have access to other guns as intended by the framers of the Constitution, and we now have a standing army.
CAROL LOFQUIST, Boise
Founders were right
Those sly, foxy Founders. They knew that the newly minted United States, bankrupt after the War for Independence, didn't have enough money for a standing army. So, the Second Amendment was slipped in to the Constitution.
You see, they figured if everyone could keep and bear firearms then gun owners could be called on in case of an Indian uprising or a foreign invasion.
The preface of the amendment gives us a clue: "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free State."
Imagine that. The Founders wanted to make sure there were enough armed bodies around to protect the "free State," not to protect a bunch of paranoid gun collectors, survivalists and Tea Partiers from the "free State."
WAYNE DE LA MOTTE,South Fork Boise River
Writer was calloused
I refer to Richard Pacheco's editorial comments published on Feb. 13, "Don't Worry About Guns." I find it hard to believe that anyone, Mr. Pacheco in particular, could be as calloused, inconsiderate and uncaring as to negate the loss of 26 people in the shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
I think Mr. Pacheco should issue an apology to all those who mourn for the lives lost at Sandy Hook. It appears he is not one of them.
Regardless of his personal beliefs, he should know better than to defame the memories of those lost.
HUGH MASSIE, Boise