The public’s well-intentioned letters but appalling ignorance regarding gun control and the National Rifle Association are astounding.
Many actually believe an all-powerful NRA buys congressional votes with a paltry campaign “war chest” of $20 million, the amount one or two senators might spend on re-election.
By contrast, the multinational, conglomerate-owned media provide hundreds of millions of dollars of free, gun-prohibitionist propaganda through television, radio, newspapers and news magazines.
The incidence of public mass shootings is skyrocketing, right? No change since the year 2000. Violent crime is skyrocketing, right? Since 1991, there has been a 52 percent decrease in the nation’s murder rate, with violent crime dropping nearly every year while private gun ownership has markedly increased.
The NRA provides hunter safety training, concealed carry training and firearm safety courses.
With crime rates dropping every year, the media has to sensationalize any rare gun-related tragedy to create a spurious crisis mind-set.
Polls say nearly everyone wants universal firearm purchase background checks. Then why was there such a rush to buy every available firearm prior to Congress voting on such legislation?
It would be a meaningless law, unless accompanied by universal firearm registration (to be followed by required, arbitrarily provided licenses, taxes, mandatory insurance, then confiscation).
By the way, where is the money going to come from to pay for this new government bureaucracy — Medicare or Social Security?
I would say that nearly all of the anti-NRA letter writers never contacted the NRA for Justice Department, FBI and independent studies to learn the facts presented to politicians before voting, rather than relying on outrageous, emotional media harangues.
Who needs assault weapons? High-power rifle target competitors use them, alongside the military, for the purpose of fostering U.S. military preparedness. It takes years of training to become competent with a firearm, not two weeks of range basic training.
Isn’t it curious that Obama’s Department of Homeland Security ordered 1.7 billion rounds of ammunition, enough to last them the next 107 years at the present rate of consumption? Is it for your protection or for something else?
The NRA works to protect an ungrateful and ignorant public, while multinational conglomerates get rich from exploiting violence in movies, television, music and video games, deflecting their culpability onto law-abiding gun owners.
Wrong about John McCain
When Bill Ayers spoke at this year’s May 4 event at Kent State, he couldn’t have been more wrong, especially when he slandered U.S. Sen. John McCain (“KSU speaker defends bombings of ’60s, ’70s,” May 5).
Does he not remember McCain was in the infamous Hanoi Hilton for about seven long years as a prisoner of war who let other soldiers have freedom ahead of him?
Ayers should read McCain’s book, Faith of My Fathers, and he would have great understanding of what happened.
McCain did not commit war crimes. The May 4 Task Force would have done much better if Ayers had not spoken this year.
I praise the May 4 Task Force for keeping the memories of that fateful day in 1970 alive all these years, but when I hear remarks slandering a true patriot, I can’t sit idly by and say nothing in response.
Ronald R. Neal
When it comes to closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, nothing has worked. So here’s an idea nobody has tried: Call Guantanamo Bay “Public Housing for Muslims.”
The GOP will shut it down in a heartbeat.
Mark Ira Kaufman
Social Security already cut
In response to the May 6 letter headlined “Promise of Social Security,” I believe the writer is unaware that the practice of cutting benefits already exists.
As a teacher in a public school in Ohio for 11 years, I am the recipient of a modest monthly pension through the State Teachers Retirement System. Many more than 11 years of my productive adulthood were spent working in the private sector, where the Social Security tax was deducted from my salary.
When I reached age 65, and applied for benefits, a formula was applied that cut my Social Security payments by more than 50 percent.
At that time, this seemed unfair, but there was no choice in the matter. The current administration obviously is not the first to want to change the rules for Social Security.
Not the answer to gun violence
Sometimes, when bad things happen, we rush to do something, anything, to make ourselves feel better. That essentially explains the gun-control bill that recently died in Congress. It wouldn’t have stopped Newtown. It wouldn’t have stopped Aurora. It wouldn’t have stopped Virginia Tech. It wouldn’t have stopped Columbine.
It was a bad bill that wouldn’t have prevented gun violence. I hope that we see a real plan that can make headway against these horrors, but we shouldn’t pass a bill that accomplishes nothing at all. I thank U.S. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio and every member of the Senate, both Republicans and Democrats, who voted against this bill.
Safe drilling requires disclosure
I would like readers to know that Senate Bill 17 would enable first responders and medical personnel to know what chemicals have been and are involved in oil or gas drilling, especially when hydraulic fracturing is used.
Currently, medical professionals are not automatically entitled to this information, which is shortsighted and prevents rapid treatment of those contaminated, as well as exposing others to contamination dangers when an accident has occurred.
I can only imagine the reason this is kept a secret is because these companies are using hazardous materials, hazardous not only to their employees but to medical professionals and their families.
Rosalind J. Martin
Portman upholds his oath
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman is to be commended for his vote in opposition to the Manchin-Toomey plan for gun background checks.
Every member of Congress takes an oath to support the Constitution. Many seem to ignore their oath almost as the last word uttered departs their lips.
The Second Amendment is not a difficult principle to understand. What it protects is clearly defined in the operative clause, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
That position is justified with a phrase explaining that a well-armed citizenry provides an available resource from which a free state may form a well-regulated militia to defend itself.
The argument, “Well, we just want to keep arms away from those we believe should not possess them,” might be equally be applied to the argument, “Well, we just want to keep those who should not be expressing an opinion or reporting events of the day from the means of expressing their opinion or reporting events.”
That Portman displayed the courage to honor the oath of office despite the emotional appeals from colleagues and political interests for him to betray his oath reflects great credit on him as a man of integrity and as a faithful servant of the people who entrusted him to represent them within the constraints of the Constitution.
Military culture of cover-up
It is amazing how women are sexually violated in the military, and there is no punishment. The commanders usually dismiss the case.
There are about 19,000 sexual assaults on women annually in the military. About 3,000 report them, a handful are taken up and little, if any, punishment is given the rapists. I guess the culture is to keep the military looking “pure.”
I guess the “good soldiers” are too privileged to be prosecuted. It seems the chances of punishing the rapists are equal to the chance of winning $300 million in the lottery.
The cases are all over the Internet, too, but the military has a system of keeping quiet and denying everything. That makes the highest commanders look good, and they want to get that retirement check.
John D. Ambrose