Don’t tell me that recent “guns on campus” legislation didn’t contribute to the shooting at Texas Tech University because the perpetrator was too young for a concealed handgun license. The law was another societal statement that guns are OK.
Don’t tell me that allowing guns on campus levels the playing field by permitting innocent people to defend themselves. A trained, armed policeman didn’t have a chance against the element of surprise.
Don’t tell me that more guns contributes to a civilian militia “helping” law enforcement contain the bad guys. The dead policeman belonged to a professional fraternity which advised the Texas legislative majority and governor not to adopt a policy of weapons proliferation.
America and Texas have tried the “more guns is better” experiment — and it’s not working. Repeal guns on campus and other laws that send the dangerous message that a little collateral damage is acceptable.
CHUCK HEMPSTEAD, AUSTIN
In the hours after the heinous attack in Las Vegas, everyone held their breaths for details to emerge. It was a tragic event where innocent lives were cut short by a senseless act. While my heart bleeds for the victims, as a Muslim I heaved a sigh of relief when it came out that the person responsible was not a Muslim. Imagine the discussions raging right now had it been a Muslim.
But Stephen Paddock has prevented all that. Not only is it now just an act of a disturbed individual, not terrorism. It almost seems that America is OK with not doing much. I feel like this is a disservice to the victims. We may not be able to control this issue by issuing immigration bans, but I am sure we can do something about automatic weapons that are used to commit such acts of terror.
ALAMZEB KHAN, MONTGOMERY
Allow only law officers and military to possess and use automatic and semi-automatic firearms. Sound very good, doesn’t it?
Only one problem with this statement, criminals do not obey the law — that is why they are called criminals.
CHARLES KNAPP, POINT VENTURE
Yesterday, in two different interviews, I heard for the first time a logical reason for the sale, possession and use of assault weapons by average Americans: It’s fun. They didn’t use the “F” word, but said things like “recreation,” “thrill” and compared it to driving a race car. Finally!
If the NRA and its members will now be honest about their motives, instead of hiding behind hunting, personal protection and the Second Amendment, maybe we can have a real debate about assault weapons. They’ve been afraid to tell the truth — one interviewee asked not to be identified — because fun doesn’t sound very noble or reasonable when people are being massacred. And I get it. I wouldn’t want to give up my gardening gloves or TV remote. But given the ever-increasing carnage related to this type of fun in the wrong hands, we need to talk honestly about what’s really at stake.
PAT GRIGADEAN, AUSTIN
As I understand it, the Second Amendment protects a person’s right to bear arms for legal purposes, such as self-defense or hunting.
Neither bump stocks nor other such accessories nor amassing large quantities of weapons fits into either of these categories, so government officials should feel comfortable outlawing devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to be used as fully-automatic ones, as well as limiting the number of guns a single person can purchase.
I am tired of politicians hiding behind the Second Amendment and using it as an excuse not to act. Continued inaction is sure to cost more innocent American lives.
RACHEL HUBKA, AUSTIN
My deepest sympathy to all those in Las Vegas. If gun control is all about saving lives, then let’s talk about the real elephant in the room that everyone seems to ignore.
These numbers are from the Center for Disease Control. Death by firearm homicide in the U.S. is around 11,000 per year, or 30 people a day. Death caused by smoking is 480,000 per year or 1,300 people per day. Of the 480,000 deaths, 41,000 are the result of exposure to secondhand smoke.
We have volumes of laws on the books to control guns already — but the only law on the books when it comes to buying smokes is that you have to be 18. Wow — what a strict law that is for a product that causes over 1,300 deaths a day.
BILL MOORE, GEORGETOWN
It’s too late for gun control. We are an armed camp.
Our frontier past required gun ownership to hunt and protect ourselves.
The Second Amendment really says a state can arm its militia, nothing else. In 2017, gun ownership is optional.
What we can do? Not much, since a bad guy can buy anything they want from someone. Gun makers and the NRA cheer that opportunity.
Some people wish to make the history books the hard way. They die but they make the news for days. We must learn how to detect these people better. Good luck.
We could try limiting gun ownership to hand guns, with a 10-shot maximum magazine, bolt action rifles for hunting with a six-shot limit, to set a standard.
Ownership of rapid fire weapons should be forbidden by a law that carries lengthy prison time.
FRANK HALL, BUDA
Tragically, our country has been rudderless since Jan. 20. The guy who met with President Obama after the election was completely clueless. He still is. We have no true leadership nor integrity in the White House and little in Congress. We know he’s no real president, and he knows it too. He behaves like a spoiled 8-year-old, not completely matured.
After events like Las Vegas, politicians always say it’s too soon to talk about guns. OK, we’ll give you a month to reflect. Then, do not prostitute yourselves again to the gun industry and the NRA.
Pass at least this one common sense gun regulation: Require gun owners to purchase liability insurance and to be bonded. This makes them more responsible just like auto insurance. This is a start. Responsible NRA members, you must stand up and be counted with the rest of us. We want your help.
MIKE MCANALLY, ROUND ROCK