Reduce gun count
We will reduce the number of homicides by gun to levels in all other civilized countries only by reducing the number of guns in circulation, which are now close to 400 million. We can do that, without violence to the Second Amendment of the Constitution, by:
• Banning all military-style “assault” weapons and magazines for everyone except the armed forces.
• Permitting the manufacture, distribution, purchase and possession of all other firearms as follows: to the military, without conditions; to law enforcement, without conditions; to farmers, rifles suitable for pest control, with registration; to hunters, rifles suitable for killing game, with registration; to collectors, with registration; to recreational shooters, firearms suitable for the purpose, with registration. To anyone and everyone else, after being licensed by a federal agency to own a firearm, upon demonstrating a need to have a firearm, one that would justify a reasonably prudent person to be armed; the absence of a felony conviction; the absence of evidence of a threat of harm to himself/herself or to another; the absence of mental illness; and a familiarity with firearms and ammunition, including their use, care and storage.
• Initiating a program of buying back firearms, such as was successful in Australia and, more recently, in New Zealand.
• Imposing triple penalties for the use of firearms in the commission of any crime — one for the crime, one for using a firearm in its commission, and one, if applicable, for possessing a firearm unlawfully.
Refinements can and should be made according to experience.
Will it work? Ask the Canadians, whose gun laws are strikingly similar. They (population about 37 million) had 266 homicides by gun in 2018; we (population nearly 330 million) had more than 14,000 in 2017.
John C. Fazio, Fairlawn
City's model community
We are proud of the dedicated community organizers, the generosity of Highland Square residents and the artistry of the musicians and crafts folks at Saturday's PorchRockr.
What should not be overlooked is the underlying form of the neighborhood that made it all possible. The narrow, interconnected streets making foot traffic simple, the smaller lots that brought activity closer, and, of course, the porches that provided the personal/public space that allows interaction among residents and passersby. As Akron builds new neighborhoods, Highland Square shows a good example of how a neighborhood should be developed.
Jerry Egan, Akron
Strive for unity
President Trump’s imprudent stoking of racial division for political expediency is unconscionable. The duty of any American leader is to unite the country in a common mission to perfect the union, not to divide us into warring factions intent on mutual destruction.
As responsible voters, we must reject Trump’s untutored, irrational and cynically transactional governance in favor of a positive and forward vision, one more respectful of the spirit of our Constitution and the diversity of our population.
Michael B. Santee, Akron
Settled long ago
Regarding “Check birth certificate,” the Aug. 17 letter to the editor, the writer proposes that rather than requiring a president to release his tax records, he would prefer that any presidential candidate produce a “genuine, verifiable U.S. birth certificate.” One can only assume he is referring to our former president. Barack Obama did produce the proof that he was born in this country, first of all.
Second, I do have to question motivation for wanting such proof, considering the idea was a nonissue for 200-plus years. It seems that some Americans struggle with people of color ascending to positions of power in our democracy.
Larry O’Neil, Akron