Make criminal gun users pay
It's amazing that after all the chest-pounding and hysterical rhetoric from pro and con gun rights groups that the president, media and others are not talking about making criminals more responsible for crimes committed with a gun. They prefer to profile guns.
No one has even discussed making gun-related crimes carry severe prison sentences without appeal, no plea bargaining, no liberal judge forgiveness, no boo-hooing. Make criminals seriously think about using a gun in the commission of a crime. It won't stop the crazies and suicide-bent nut jobs but will have more impact than boosting gun sales and the membership role in the NRA.
Harvey Smith, Palm Harbor
Give peace a chance
Given the deafening cacophony coming from the NRA and that ilk expressing their collective paranoia over the government taking away their deadly toys, it appears the rest of us don't count in this discussion.
Those of us who prefer a peaceful, gun-free world have rights, too. Remember the part in the Declaration of Independence about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Yeah, you could argue that the Second Amendment grants gun owners the right to pursue their "happiness," but wait a minute … what about the rest of us who are threatened by people with guns, who are maimed by people with guns, who are murdered by people with guns — what about our rights?
The NRA's solution is simple — gun up, everyone! Once the entire populace is armed, then we are all equal. It's simply a matter of who can draw faster. OK Corral, anyone? No, thanks.
Don Miller, Apollo Beach
Gun proposals strike a perfectly reasonable balance | Jan. 17 editorial
What about all the ads?
I notice you are quick to jump on board with the liberal agenda on gun control, but you certainly are not so principled when it comes to making money. I counted at least 60 ads in Thursday's paper advertising guns and ammo.
Can you say hypocrite?
Gary G. Brown, Clearwater
Gun plan tackles a daunting task | Jan. 17
Mostly symbolic measures
I think we are going to find that the ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines is more symbolic than effective. As an Army veteran who has fired thousands of rounds from an M-16 assault rifle, the fully automatic military version of the semiautomatic Bushmaster AR-15 rifles used in the Newtown, Aurora and D.C. sniper massacres, I know that it only takes a second to replace an empty magazine with a full one.
James Nelson, Largo
For the greater good
Over the past few weeks, a number of my friends have proffered the following argument: "I have always been a careful and responsible gun owner. Why do I have to give up my constitutional right to have a gun — be it an assault rifle, a gun with a large magazine clip, etc.?"
My retort has been: "I have been a careful and responsible licensed driver for over 50 years (one ticket and no accidents). Why do I have to give up my right to drive my car at any speed I deem careful and responsible?"
Here is why: Sometimes in a society like ours, reasonable and responsible people have to forgo certain rights and/or privileges because of the misuse and or abuse of them by unreasonable and irresponsible people. Sometimes we have to give up certain rights and/or privileges for the better good. Doing so, at least in my view, is being a mature, reasonable and responsible citizen.
William G. Emener, St. Pete Beach
All style, no substance
President Obama wants more gun laws to prevent tragedies like Newtown. However, creating more laws will have little effect because criminals do not obey laws. Do you really believe that a criminal is going to subject himself to a background check to buy a legal firearm? Of course not.
Will banning "assault" rifles have a significant impact? The FBI's own crime reports show that all rifles, including shotguns, .22s, hunting rifles and assault rifles, contribute to less than 5 percent of firearm homicides. The definition of what is an assault rifle is more style than substance. Attacking the situation with new gun laws is just superficial and will not get to the root of why these tragedies occurred. It is nothing more than political grandstanding.
Joe Wareham, Tierra Verde
Gun shops: Obama plan won't work | Jan. 17
Response makes no sense
What a shock. The people who make a lot of money from the sale of assault weapons say the president's plan to ban assault weapons won't work.
One of the people interviewed predicted that "sales will plummet" and said it's not good for the economy, like that's a good reason to continue selling these weapons that have no purpose but the slaughter of lots of people in a short amount of time.
We all know that some criminals will still get their hands on assault weapons; that doesn't mean we should make it easy for them.
John Krevens, New Port Richey
Let them go to combat
Those gun advocates so eager to fire lots of ammo using military-style assault weapons designed to injure and kill people should volunteer for military duty and combat action. That would leave fewer chickenhawks stateside to continue the ignorant blather about how completely the "well regulated" Second Amendment right trumps the Fifth Amendment right not to be deprived of life without due process of law.
Roland Moy, St. Petersburg
NRA brings Obama's daughter into fight Jan. 17
Groupthink at its scariest
I cannot countenance any American being a card-carrying member of any organization whose leadership would criticize any American president for allowing for Secret Service protection of his children, regardless of what that president does or doesn't stand for. We really need to ask ourselves what kind of nation we are becoming.
Walter Melvin, Clearwater