Laws not the answer
I find it interesting that every time some crackpot and assorted copycats go on a rampage, every anti-gun nut in the country starts yet another crusade.
As one person opined in this paper, the Second Amendment has been a source of personal recreation and self-protection in this country for almost 240 years.
What I find amusing is the thought that yet more laws will fix what people who are afraid of guns see as wrong. One conservative estimate puts the drawdown rate of ammunition, were it declared illegal, at more than a hundred years. The number of firearms that currently exist is so large that no one knows the number. Guns last for centuries. If all gun and ammunition manufacturing stopped today, there would be little impact for 100 years.
The price would increase, and illegal sales and importation would skyrocket. As with making drugs illegal, that would not be the worst. Insanely lucrative criminal enterprise would evolve around distribution. As penalties increased, so would the violence.
In the place of sporadic violence, this country would find itself with drug cartels and gun proliferation: a solution more clever than Prohibition.
FLOYD A. VAHALIK, Nampa
Because someone's grandfather came from Russia they think we should protect our rights?
Of course you mean the right to protect our children, shoppers at the mall, a public speaker or someone in their home shot by a drive-by. How about we give them all a chance by keeping the 30 bullet clips in the military where they belong? The way it stands now you can't send a 6-year-old child to school without the possibility of having them have their face blown off. The terror those kids went through.
Why is it so hard for you people to understand that no one wants your guns? There were no assault rifles when the Constitution was written. If there had been, the intelligent people writing it would have addressed it. They belong in the military, not on our streets like a third-world country.
Our government is trying to protect us from the atrocities that have been happening. This is America. Don't you want better than that for us?
TRUDY DAY, Boise
For many buyers, people-killing guns (i.e. modern military/police weapons and their clones) are big-boy toys. They are all about self-indulgence and juvenile gratification, with the added "benefits" of being ultra-lethal and practically immortal. Civilians need to exercise self-control and stop buying them, if not voluntarily then through government action. As Paul Harvey liked to say, "Self-government won't work without self-discipline."
And, yes, they are different from traditional sporting guns and need to be dealt with separately.
But also, why not, as the NRA suggests, have at least one thoroughly trained and suitably armed defender in every school, theater, mall, convention center, stadium, cruise ship, airliner and anywhere else large groups of unarmed people gather?
Why not expect private gun sellers to voluntarily get federal background checks on their gun buyers? Your local licensed gun dealer can do that for a small fee.
Finally, about guns being inanimate objects incapable of anything without someone operating them: Anyone who thinks inanimate objects don't affect human behavior has not been paying attention to people and cellphones, the Internet, automobiles, light bulbs, the pill, etc., etc.
JAMES M. RUNSVOLD, Caldwell
Guns and tanning
Let me see if I have this right. Our esteemed legislators are fighting common sense gun control, NOT the revocation of the Second Amendment, but going after tanning booths?
Tanning booths, while probably risky and unwise in the long run, are seemingly incapable of the mass carnage of a lunatic with an assault rifle. Unless of course, there's a rogue tanning booth out there somewhere where several people can be stuffed in the same tanning booth and be assaulted with incinerating UV rays. Does this sound like the issue that the efforts of our law-makers should be concerned with right now, given the gun violence in this country? I think not.
CHARLOTTE BROTHER, Boise
An armed society
You walk into a store and see a man with a gun facing the clerk. You have to decide quickly - is this a holdup or someone with manhood issues who is packing heat? You remember the sign from the Statehouse rally: "Batter (sic) a gun in hand than cop on phone," so you do your duty and stand your ground in defense of the clerk.
You walk down Jefferson Street and see a group of men carrying weapons heading into the Statehouse. You remember Sen. Brent Hill's concern about having to face a half-dozen armed men. But which of these men are the bad guys? Then you remember the ruling from Arnaud Amalric, Legate of the faith of most gun owners, to the effect that you can fire away at all of them secure in the knowledge that the good from the bad will be divinely sorted later.
Truly an armed society will be, as the gun advocates claim, a polite society because all of the people who disagree with them will be six feet under.
GARY L. BENNETT, Emmett
Take away everything
Let's ban 'em all. Let's ban all knives, cleavers and machetes. Let's ban all hammers, clubs and baseball bats. And while we're at it, let's remove all of our hands and feet.
Total U.S. murders by weapon type committed from 1991-2011:
Rifles (NOT just "assault" rifles): 10,574
Knives and cutting instruments: 44,823
Blunt objects (hammers, clubs, etc.): 15,423
Personal weapons (hands, feet, etc.): 20,436
So, I propose a compromise: You can come collect my "assault" weapons, but you must be willing to turn over all of your knives and hammers, and remove your hands and feet. Because let's face it, you are far more likely to kill someone using these objects than I am with my assault rifle.
And one last thing; if you think mass attacks will not occur with knives and other objects, go ahead and Google China knife attacks. And if you think that would never happen in America, well, you probably said the same thing about mass shootings. Quit being naive and wake up. Our problem is not with guns, it is with violence. So quit fretting about my guns and focus on the real problem. Thanks.
TREVOR PHILLIPS, Boise
People kill, not guns
Once again I read the statement that guns are "designed to kill" and therefore comparison to other objects, specifically cars, when used to kill people, is invalid. Once again I say to myself, "Good grief, here we go again." Let's look at another comparison.
Guns are no more designed to kill than are knives. Knives are designed to cut or stab things - paper, wood, brush, food, etc. Guns are designed to fire projectiles at targets - paper, skeet, game, and yes, even assailants. Projectiles can be water, bb's, bullets, nails, even bubbles. It's the abuser of the knife, gun, hammer or car who kills. When anti-gun folks say guns are designed to kill, they ignore that inanimate objects cannot kill unless someone wields them for that purpose.
I wouldn't have mentioned bubbles; however, since anti-gun zealots have brought us to the point that a 5-year-old girl was suspended from school for making a "terrorist threat" to shoot a classmate with her Hello Kitty bubble gun, it's appropriate to the conversation.
Our government will punish your child for pointing a finger and saying "bang." Supporting such tyranny is not patriotic, it's every bit as treasonous as threatening to overthrow the government.
RON HITT, Nampa
Check Idaho's pulse
More guns, ad nauseum. The NRA's "chicken little, sky is falling on the Second Amendment" scare campaign causes panic. Gun dealers sell out.
The Idaho Legislature supports open or concealed carry, but has fits when someone carries into the chamber. Gunslingers and pistol-packin' mamas rally on the Capitol steps. (Guns probably loaded, else why carry?) Rep. JoAn Wood fires a Tommy gun at Impact Range. Says she'll be ready for the next burglar. Rep. Crane wants Santa to stuff his stocking with an MP5 submachine gun. Rep. John Rusche's new middle name is Dillinger. Sen. Hagedorn says noise from guns is a public health issue as it causes deafness. (Well, duh.) He wants Idaho to produce silencers. (What's next, mechanisms that change semi to automatic firing?)
Lastly, for "Scene Mag's News of the Weird." Sen. Rice scared feds will invade Idaho. Take all our guns. He wants the Constitution to redefine militia as one where all of Idaho's citizens, both sexes, are conscripted members ready to die fighting the feds. Businesses are scared, may post "check weapons at the door" signs like the Old West. National studies show that 65 percent of U.S. households have no weapons. Legislature must poll Idaho. Make sure it is representing all citizens.
CLINT ALLISON, Boise
Join the Guard
"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." We gun owners must be registered, otherwise, how can the militia be mustered? Alternatively, if the National Guard is the militia, then it seems that we must join the National Guard to exercise our right to keep and bear arms.
G.W. (BILL) TONKIN, Boise
Use common sense
Why are we even arguing about this? It is simply a matter of improving public safety to enact common-sense gun control legislation.
How can you possibly compare losing access to military-style weapons to someone's fundamental constitutional right to life, liberty, and happiness?
DANIEL APPEL, Boise
What would Jesus do?
In the Feb. 25 letters to the editor, Norma Bailey asks: "Can you imagine Jesus packing an AK-47?" And "Let us live in love, not fear. Isn't that what Christ would want?"
Obviously they didn't have AK-47s when Jesus lived. Guns had not been invented. Swords were the equivalent. In Luke 22:36, Jesus said: "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Here is a question for Norma: Why do you think Christ thought it more important to have a sword than to have a coat?
PHIL CHRISWELL, Boise