Letters to the editor: Guns

May 21, 2013 

Yes to background checks

If background checks are good for some gun sales, why aren't they good for all gun sales, even private? Are NRA members afraid they might not pass?

And who needs large-capacity magazines? We won World War II with only an eight-round magazine!

BILL WILSON, Boise

One and done with guns

I am a native Idahoan from Twin Falls. I killed a bear on Snowbank Mountain in 1963. My nimrod friend from New York killed her cub. I sold my gun and have never seen a need for one since.

Tell me, sir, do you sleep well in the night with a loaded pistol under your pillow? Do you wake in anxiety when you hear an Obama-like bump in the night? Do you keep a loaded gun near you as you anticipate the government coming to get it? I am afraid of you fellows.

Irritable men with guns are bad enough, but when you have a few brewskis, you win all the discussions. If you come into a restaurant with your piece, I am leaving immediately.

Why don't you focus your energies on education and health care for your children?

I recently went to Nepal for three months. I must say how refreshing it was to never hear a word about guns and rights. They are so happy and peaceful there and seem to do fine brushing their hair, drinking a cup of tea and playing with the kids.

I am accepting donations to send me back to Nepal.

HAROLD STILES, Boise

Gun laws not working

In the May 9 Statesman John Ireland of Nampa wrote "Since 1994, Brady Act background checks have stopped 2 million wife beaters, fugitives, drug addicts, felons, illegal aliens, and mental patients who tried to buy firearms from licensed dealers."

Before the federal background check is conducted, a Form 4473 must be completed by the person attempting to buy the firearm. Falsifying information on the form is a felony and says so above the applicant's signature. Where are the arrest and conviction records of those 2 million criminals? If the government isn't arresting and convicting the criminals now, in other words enforcing the law, why should we expand the background checks?

EDWARD BALLARD, Boise

Mentally ill gun owners only part of the problem

What do "Doomsday Preppers," "New World Order" and a tyrannical U.S. government takeover have in common?

Answer: fiction, paranoia and pro-gun arguments. La Pierre, Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, Faux News, et al., stir up the public with these apocalyptic fantasies while ignoring real ticking bombs like so-called "good guys with guns" who only become "bad guys with guns" when they get drunk or angry and kill someone; a mom who fires her AR-15 at an intruder and accidently kills her child in the next room; anyone carrying a gun into a church, mall or bar simply to prove they can; anyone so anti-gun-safety they threaten to kill the president; and of course those extremist "patriot" militias.

We're right to worry about felons and the mentally ill getting guns but what about those who are neither, e.g., social misfits, drunks, drug users or those who are anti-government, anti-authority or have anger issues, violent tendencies, domestic abuse records, or are depressed, bullied or carrying a grudge, etc.? Each is more likely to result in gun violence than a fictional government takeover.

It's time to address real gun safety issues instead of using fiction to justify inaction.

TEX BEAUCHAMP, Meridian

Language sank gun bill

All firearm buys MUST undergo a background check. Gun shows? 99 percent of sales at gun shows are by dealers and therefore must undergo a check. We're led to believe all a "bad guy" has to do is go to a gun show and they can get a gun. Simply not true.

Why did the recent bill fail? Because of what's in it. As, you loan your friend or family member your shotgun to go hunting, it's a felony since it would be considered a "transfer." Or if your weapon leaves your house without you, it's considered a transfer and would be illegal. All transfers must go through a dealer, pay the fees and background check. This means I could not leave my gun locked up at my daughter's home or leave a gun in a friends truck say, if I was moving or even an unloaded gun in a safe being moved by a moving company. I can't leave my shotgun at my friend's cabin where we hunt or give a gun as a gift to my children without going through all the hoops. How ridiculous is that?

Dems just do not use common sense.

GENE BURKETT, Kuna

Gun culture rules the day

Of late the editorial page is full of discussion on guns, and our right to bear arms. Many people quote Thomas Jefferson as a champion of our rights. He is also quoted "as in matters of style, swim with the current, in matters of principle, stand like a rock."

On what moral principle does political expedience rest? Recently I read where Gov. Butch Otter had an initiative to welcome gun manufacturers into the state. I guess this is a way to generate jobs, and give a safe haven for merchants of death. It seems we are a culture awash in guns, with almost 90 guns owned for every 100 people. Leads to wonder if the governor works on the premise of style or principle.

I recently also read in horror where a 3-year-old found a handgun and while playing killed himself. How many 3-year-olds will we bury before we recognize that we are a gun culture that might need a little moderation?

JOHN PATTIS, Boise

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