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Sandy Hook: Average citizens don’t need assault weapons

Tuesday, December 25, 2012
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Sandy Hook: Average citizens don’t need assault weapons

Re Dec. 15 AP article, “Sheer terror”: We have taken too long to address this problem appropriately, and now another two dozen innocent babies and adults have been slaughtered. When do we stop it? When do we fight for sanity?

Schools should be quiet, peaceful venues for education; they should not be turned into armed camps. We must eliminate assault weapons from the general public. There is no excuse, no use, no reason, for the average citizen to have access to AK-47s and AR-15s. Let’s stop it now.

The NRA does not speak for the majority of citizens (and I’ll bet it doesn’t speak for all of its members by calling for armed school personnel).

Help, please, before we lose more precious babies. I urge all readers to contact the president and all of your elected officials. Let them know that assault weapons must no longer find their way into the hands of the general public.

Jerry Boehm

Albany

Sandy Hook: When is enough, enough?

I can no longer remain silent. I am becoming more and more disturbed by the behavior and beliefs of my fellow citizens and our civic and political leadership and representatives.

On Dec. 14 we all watched in horror as 20 of our babies and six of their precious teachers were suddenly, violently and horribly taken from us. The disturbed executioner, who also killed himself, used a high-powered weapon equipped with a magazine capable of carrying over 100 rounds of ammunition.

Each of these young citizens was executed by the use of anywhere from three to 12 shots. I, and perhaps you should, ask the question, “What is wrong with all of us that we allow this to happen?”

I have no intention of involving myself in a debate about the meaning or interpretation of the Second Amendment or the placement of commas in the amendment. When is enough, enough? Clearly too much is too much. Our country has 5 percent of the human population of this planet and our country possesses more than 50 percent of the pistols and rifles and shotguns. Does it make you feel safe? It scares the hell out of me.

Many of us were waiting with anticipation for the NRA news conference on Dec. 21. In the previous week their only public pronouncement was that they would offer constructive contributions, and what did we hear? We did not witness a news conference, we witnessed a one-sided rant, no questions allowed. The NRA apparently believes that a gun-free school zone is an invitation for wanton executions, and their solution is more guns.

I am disheartened by the actions of our civic, political and religious leadership who collectively are impotent to take any responsible action. They seem only capable of wringing their hands and pointing fingers at each other. There is an opportunity for our leaders to take positive and appropriate action on this wanton gun proliferation. They do not need to study it or conduct a survey, they just need to do it. Once they have taken action on saving our babies’ lives, they will recognize that dealing with our fiscal lives will be easy by comparison.

If you agree with me or disagree with me, I don’t really care. If you don’t have any opinion, you scare me. If you do have an opinion, let your locally elected congressional representative know where you stand. Tell them that they have 30 days to fix it or they are fired.

I wish you my profoundest hopes for peace.

Mike Keogh

Schenectady

Many governments, including ours, owe their existence to guns

Were it not for the recent tragedy in Connecticut, the last subject I would ever care to write on is the subject of firearms in the hands of the general public. However, events have thrust the topic of gun control to center stage and I would like to comment on both Rudy Nydegger’s and Henry Molt’s Dec. 20 letters.

Mr. Nydegger suggested mental illness as the underlying cause behind all of the recent mass murders. But we lack enough information to show that Mr. Nydegger’s conjecture is valid in all cases. As perhaps a counter-example, I remember back to 1966 when a tumor in the brain of Charles Whitman, who executed 13 individuals at the University of Texas and wounded another 32 shortly after killing both his mother and wife, was considered a reasonable cause for that horrific act.

At the end of his letter, Mr. Nydegger also slipped into the ploy of name-calling when he seemed to dismiss, through use of the words “mindless” and “simplistic,” the notion that it is not inanimate objects that kill. From my point of view, Mr. Nydegger lacked a convincing opposing argument for his quoted slogans and fell to the level that some of us learned on the playground many years ago.

Mr. Molt’s letter certainly seemed to lay out some solutions, as opposed to pure assertions otherwise lacking in supporting evidence. However, there are two glaring problems with one of his practical ideas. He suggests rejection for all gun applicants with a family member who either was or currently is being treated for mental illness. In my opinion, this will simply lead to people not seeking treatment. Mr. Holt also seems to classify all mental illnesses in the same mold. I view this as a bias, similar to the belief that all women are best suited as homemakers.

Frankly, I don’t have an ideal solution to solve this horrible issue, which I believe we have always been confronted with. But I can’t help but wonder how the world would have been shaped differently if my family had lacked firearms when they helped to form this country so many years ago.

I can’t imagine how the Syrian people could possibly escape the tyranny of their government if they merely had sharp words with which to overcome oppression. I can’t imagine how the farmers in my community could protect their livestock from predatory animals if they are not allowed the ability to utilize firearms.

Therefore, please — let us be careful, thoughtful and mindful of what may be alien to our day-to-day personal experiences before formulating a course of action for the problems that we encounter as a whole.

R. Michael Boyer

Gilboa

 
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comments

December 25, 2012
10:42 a.m.
wmarincic says...

Jerry Boehm, Second Ammendment of the U.S. Constitution says I have the right to bear arms. Did you know that the private school of Obamas children and many other private schools of the multi millionairs have dozens of armed guards? Obamas childrens school has 12 armed guards and they have always had at least 10, even before Obama to protect the children of the wealthy. I guess you believe that is fine to protect those kids with weapons because they are much more important than our kids.

Around 40% of households report gun ownership in America and I believe that is an extremely low number.

December 25, 2012
12:38 p.m.
ThePhilistine says...

When a storm hits and people are cut off and left to fend for themselves weapons are needed, or have we forgotten the gangs roaming the street after Katrina raping people sisters and daughters then looting homes? This is only one example of relevant use of the guns you speak of being used for lawful self-defense. BTW this also happened after hurricane sandy but the AP was not interested in reporting. "The people" includes average citizens, and the people have rights.

December 25, 2012
12:52 p.m.
miketomm says...

While Obama wiped fake tears from his eyes, inside he was jumping for joy. He or his anti gun administration could not have cooked up a better scheme to take guns from the public. It was not for lack of effort though - does anyone remember fast & furious? My heart is heavy over the Conn. tragedy - I am human. I must say that any legislation that results must not be based on emotion. There are millions of responsible law abiding gun owners. Please let cooler heads prevail and don't legislate based on the extreme actions of a very small number of sick individuals.

December 25, 2012
5:12 p.m.
J.D. says...

I'm scared of a government that has control over an unarmed people.

December 25, 2012
10:46 p.m.
duke1942 says...

It gets so frustrating listening to these morons talking about adding more gun laws to solve crime problems. It has never worked nor will it ever work. All they would do is further restrict us law abiding citizens from buying and owning them. In almost EVERY case the guns used to commit crimes were ILLEGAL. Why don't the politicians and anti-gun people understand that? Are they so ignorant that they can't see the obvious? CRIMINALS DON'T CARE HOW MANY LAWS THEY BREAK TO ACCOMPLISH THEIR CRIMES. Add new ones and they will break them too. Einstein said it best. "The definition of INSANITY is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

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