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Letter: Knee-Jerk Solutions Won’t Help

To the Editor:

I had vowed to not be drawn into the current gun control debate, but the Dec. 22 editorial, “Courage Required,” forced me to break my pledge. This editorial, which should have been titled “No Intelligence Required,” is journalistic mediocrity at its worst.

As a parent who has lost a child, I unfortunately know all too well what the Newtown parents are going through. I can also say, as a gun owner, that I would gladly give up all my firearms if it could bring back any of these innocent children, but that is not reality. Does anyone on your editorial board even know what an “assault rifle” is? Because they don’t in Washington. The last assault weapon ban was based on how the firearm looked. If it looked scary, it was an assault weapon. This is all political theater. Reinstituting the same ban will accomplish nothing other than making black-market gun runners richer than they already are. Does anyone who writes your editorials know the difference between a fully automatic weapon (already illegal in most circumstances) and a semiautomatic weapon? Are you aware that there are currently many hunting firearms, both rifles and shotguns, that are semiautomatic and have been safely used for over 75 years by sportsmen? Do you do any investigative reporting at all before you jump on the knee-jerk bandwagon?

Yet, do I think that we, as a nation, need to look at and deal with the problem of violence? Yes! But meaningless feel-good legislation will not solve the problem or stop the carnage. I would like to see the president’s new “task force” be comprised of average citizens — parents, teachers and gun owners. Add experienced mental health experts and law enforcement people from both urban and rural areas. Let’s let them look at all the facts. Nobody from Dianne Feinstein’s left-wing or the NRA right-wing should be included; we already have enough polarization in this country. This is a complicated, difficult, yet very important problem. We need reasonable ideas and solutions from reasonable people. Do any of us really think our current legislators are the people to do it?

Thomas O. Wansleben



Editorial: Courage Required; A Tepid Call for Action

Thursday, December 20, 2012

“We should have the courage, every one of us to vote for those steps” that will prevent future massacres like the one in Newtown, Conn., said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., on the floor of the Senate, just a few days after the shootings. Yes, they should. But do they? While lawmakers from other parts of the country have responded to …