I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s. I owned guns from the time I was 13 to the day my first child was born and I gave them all away. I had pistols for plinking tin cans and shooting varmints, shotguns for hunting ducks and for clay pigeons and rifles to hunt large game.
I purchased them from gun stores and sporting goods stores; there weren’t any gun shows and there wasn’t any need for background checks.
But the thing that stands out the most is that of all the firearms along the walls in those stores, none was automatic or even semiautomatic or in any way resembled the M-16 or any other military firearm.
My other observation is that I got my violence “fix” from Marvel Comics and Sheriff Matt Dillon. Probably the most violent were the Roadrunner and Bugs Bunny cartoons before the movies.
Technology has brought much good but also the ability to play on young minds in the most violent and perverse ways. There are movies and television programs where blood and guts are celebrated. Video games reward players who kill or maim the most people.
I’m a big believer in the Bill of Rights and all of the freedoms it provides, but if we can regulate everything from what we ingest to how we invest, we should take a serious look at regulating the “entertainment” to which our young people are exposed.
Mark E. Cohen
Pay for performance
We are told that we are headed to financial ruin very soon. Meanwhile, the president’s health-care plan has “assessed” a $63 fee on everybody who has health insurance, to help fund this unpopular program.
The Republicans want to redo Social Security and Medicare. They tell us that we all need to make sacrifices in these difficult times.
If we all need to make these sacrifices, what exactly are our elected officials giving up?
I propose that we look at their pay and benefits. They can start by taking a 15 percent reduction in pay. That is what I had to do to keep my company solvent.
Next, instead of the best health care in the world, give them the same system that they rammed down my throat. If they cannot reach an agreement on this crisis before Jan. 1, stop their pay for failure to do the job they were hired to do until after an agreement has been reached.
All pay raises in the future should be voted on by the public. If their job performance does not justify a pay raise, they shouldn’t get one, but in no case should it be higher than what has been given to our military.
There is much wasteful spending by government. Stop spending millions of dollars on illegal immigrants. What part of illegal do they fail to understand?
On Dec. 16, the discussion on Meet the Press centered on the tragic events in Newtown, Conn. Host David Gregory stated that he had reached out to 30 senators of the new Congress who had NRA support in their campaigns to join the discussion but not one of them responded.
I wish he had listed the names of these gutless wonders so we would all know how certain they are in their beliefs. And these are the people who run our country.