Does anyone seriously believe that the gun control measures now being considered are going to make any difference in preventing mass mayhem such as the Sandy Hook shootings?
We frequently see pleas for reasonable, common-sense gun control. I maintain that these terms are contradictory. There is no reasonable or common-sense gun control as a means to prevent unreasonable acts.
Early in the 1900s, with the advent of Prohibition, we had mob warfare with the use of machine guns and sawed-off shotguns. These “bad guns” were banned in the mid-1930s.
I’m sure that this ban had little effect on the mobsters, but, with the repeal of Prohibition, the mob wars essentially stopped.
Then in the 1960s, after President Kennedy was killed with a mail-order rifle, we prohibited mail-order and interstate sale of firearms.
And then we had the “Saturday night specials.” They finally gave up on banning these guns because they could not come up with a definition of Saturday night special.
None of these measures had any detectable effect on violent crime with guns.
More recently, a different approach was implemented — use background checks to control access to firearms by criminals. Unfortunately, the administration has chosen not to prosecute those who attempt to cheat on these rules.
In fact, the Justice Department violated its own rules and sanctioned the transfer of thousands of illegally purchased assault weapons to the drug gangs in Mexico through its Fast and Furious program.
There are shortcomings in the background check program. It is impossible to force background checks on all firearms transactions between individuals.
So now we’re back to trying to control the bad guns again. But it’s not really control; we’re only talking about banning new sales of these guns, ignoring the millions of so-called assault weapons with large capacity magazines already being harmlessly used by all but handful of crazy people.
But the reality is that we just don’t know how to prevent tragedies like the Sandy Hook shootings. I doubt that we ever will be able to stop the psychopath determined to create havoc. But many feel that we must do something, so we fall back on the old tried-and-failed methods of restricting sales of the most recently used implement.
A more probable deterrent might be to replace those useless “No Guns” signs on the school doors with the ones that read “Protected by Smith & Wesson.”
No room for ?honest differences
It was no surprise to find a letter (“Hypocrisy of the president,” Jan. 27) attacking the president for his political viewpoints, but the writer mischaracterized the issues.
Supporting gay rights does not equal “promotion of the homosexual agenda.” Support of the right to choose does not equal promotion of “abortion on demand.”
What made this letter different was that rather than leaving the argument in the political arena, where we might express our honest differences and disagreements, it went on to accuse the president of not having the “correct” so-called Christian viewpoint because he promoted programs that “basically thumb the nose in God’s face.”
The president, in the writer’s eyes, represents the height of Christian hypocrisy and blasphemy.
As most writers of this nature are prone to do, he then goes on to quote the Bible (“You will know them by their fruits”), apparently secure in the knowledge that he knows the mind of the divine, while the president is a poor, ignorant slob (and a deceitful one, at that), trying to pull the wool over the eyes of a Christian nation that knows all too well what he is up to.
Yes, Jesus did say, “You will know them by their fruits.” The “fruits” of the president’s policies might be described as justice, equality and compassion, not a bad legacy.
More important, perhaps, is something else Jesus said, which was: “In my father’s house are many rooms” (John 14:2). Room for me, room for you, room for the president and, yes, even room for a vicious, anti-Christian letter writer.
Evidence of ?climate change
George Will does not think that climate change is a problem or that there is anything humans can do about it (“An agenda ripe for conservatives,” Jan. 27).
If he does not like global temperature numbers, how about carbon dioxide levels? Recent ice core samples in Antarctica, which go back 800,000 years, show an average carbon dioxide level of about 170 parts to 300 parts per million.
The level is now at 390 ppm, having risen more than one-third since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution 200 years ago, when fossil fuel consumption began to dramatically increase. Germany, one of the most successful industrial countries in the world, has decided to make green energy a top priority.
This decision was embraced by Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union Party.
Power source ?at the stadium
One question was not asked of Chuck Jones about FirstEnergy’s $102 million signs attached to the Cleveland Browns Stadium: Who supplies the power to light them up?
I can answer that question.
It is Cleveland Public Power. It supplies power to the entire stadium.