Alternative to guns
Since the horrific Newtown shootings, our country is faced with tough decisions regarding school safety and gun control, and everyone seems to have an opinion about it.
As I followed the events of that day, I was sickened and saddened, but also felt that the schools need to be able to defend themselves and not just "duck and cover" and wait to be shot. I don't think the answer is to arm teachers with guns. What if a child was struck accidentally? Or what if a child got ahold of the gun and shot someone else with it? I think the fiasco in Heritage Middle School recently, where a faculty member mistook a student with a folding shovel for someone with a weapon, is a good example of why teachers should not have guns. What if that teacher had been armed? Could that innocent student have been shot? I think a good option for schools would be to provide all staff members with pepper spray. They would be able to defend themselves or their students if needed, and no one would be killed.
If the Newtown teachers had access to pepper spray, they could have saved lives.
SARAH JENSEN Meridian
Don't force firearms
I understand the concern of those in the House chamber when a man carrying a loaded heavy-duty pistol ready for instant use on his hip was legally free to walk among them. I certainly feel threatened when I am confronted with a person carrying a deadly weapon ready for instant use in an area where they shouldn't.
There is a large well-organized group, some of them my friends and neighbors, who are impassioned about their gun hobby who strongly feel that the principles of the Constitution don't apply to them.
The Constitution, in its first paragraph, clearly states that the overriding principles that we live by, starting with "establish justice," which means that we have only those freedoms that don't overly impinge on the freedom of others, followed by other principles that make it clear that a reasonable freedom to feel safe is a basic universal right. We therefore depend on recognizable officers of the law and the military, who we have commissioned to keep us safe even by using deadly force when necessary.
Citizens being forced to carry guns and shoot each other in order to feel safe (even from some legislators) takes us back to pre-civilization.
CHARLES PARKER, Melba
Guns and Bibles
When Obama was running for office over four years ago, he made a statement about people who "... liked to hang on to their Bibles and guns." Since it was not in the form of a question, it must be taken as simply his observation.
Since the Bible is the word of God and is its own best interpreter, the statement that people "like to hang on to their Bibles" is best revealed by the Bible, which states, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (II Tim. 16-17)
Obama's quote of people who "like to hang on to their guns" is best revealed by the same source; to wit: "When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace." (Luke 11:21)
BILL WARD, Meridian
Dumb and dumber
Well, my patience is exhausted. Dumb and dumber letters about gun control. Lots of opinions and few facts. Did anybody think to consult an authoritative source? How about you Statesman writers? How about checking out the FBI's Uniform Crime Report. It's easy - fbi.gov/about-us.
If you bother to look, you will find that raw murder statistics say:
1. You are nearly three times more likely to be killed with somebody's bare hands than by a rifle. This doesn't include suffocations, stranglings or drownings, which are classified separately.
2. You are four to five times more likely to be killed with a knife.
3. You are about 1 1/2 times more likely to be killed with a blunt object.
4. You are slightly more likely to be killed with a shotgun.
Check this out for a good summary of recent years. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-8.
Now, check out the NRA website at www.NRA.org. Interesting stuff there, too.
If you have bought a gun from a dealer or tried to at any time in the past 20-odd years, you would know that background checks are done by the dealer before you can walk out the door with a gun.
DON WATTS, Boise
The good of guns
Every time I read the paper, or listen to the news, it's always something bad about guns.
I would like to hear something good about guns. I know there are some stories out there about how a gun has saved a life, prevented a home invasion, protected your loved ones. You will not hear from the major news about someone that has prevented a crime from happening with a gun. So let's hear some stories from someone out there that has saved someone's life or prevented a crime by just having a gun.
Know your guns and how they work; also know the laws.
NORMAN W. WILLIAMS, Meridian