Right to weapons

Regarding the letter “Do more, governor” (Aug. 25), the fact is, in the U.S. (Ohio included), it is next to impossible to acquire a “weapon of war.” I assume the writer refers to a machine gun, which requires a special federal permit, and costs thousands of dollars.

The rifles used in many mass shootings may look like “weapons of war,” but they do not function like them. There is no selector switch that allows for continuous firing, or even a burst. They fire one round each time the trigger is pulled. Period. They merely look like military weapons. They function exactly the same as millions of rifles that look “normal,” owned and used by millions of men, women and children around the world.

I use my AR-15 for groundhog and coyote control, and it is a perfect firearm for that purpose. That said, the Second Amendment was not written so that people could hunt squirrels. It was written so that the people were guaranteed a God-given right to defend themselves. Not merely to defend against someone breaking into their homes, but to be able to own the same weapons as government troops that they had just fought a war against.

Do I advocate ownership of “weapons of war”? No. We probably shouldn’t have easy access to flamethrowers, rocket launchers and SAMs (surface-to-air missiles), but don’t mistakenly attempt to remove the weapons that guarantee your continued freedom.

As for the writer’s comment that “no Ohio citizen needs to own such powerful weapons for sport,” no one needs a Corvette, either, yet there are many of them out there. One difference is that I have a constitutional right to own one, but not the other.

Paul J. Hazlett, Clinton

 

Courageous voice needed

Dan Coats’ resignation as director of national intelligence further signaled President Trump’s quest to govern untroubled by truth and undisturbed by facts. As overseer of the nation’s whole intelligence apparatus, Coats’ unwelcome, fact-based assessments of North Korea, Russia and other adversaries Trump views as friends had angered the president.

Trump’s dismissals of carefully crafted reports, often acquired at great risk and cost, prompted Coats’ decision to quit. His resignation removes one of the few national security officials who dared to contradict the president.

It’s alarming that our national security decision-making process has lost a courageous voice for unbiased, truthful assessments. Trump’s fondness for authoritarians, disregard for our friends and alliances, and preference for ego over facts is imperiling America’s security. We can’t risk having a director of national intelligence who encourages such dangerous impulses. Republican senators must demand a nominee who can be trusted to present and defend the facts.

Sherry McMillen, Cuyahoga Falls

 

Wiser in 2020

In reference to the Aug. 27 column “This isn’t the Ohio Trump promised” by John DeGarmo, the letter resonated with all those who took the 2016 campaign promises to heart. I am sorry for DeGarmo's disappointment, and I think he must be a great addition to the citizenry of Ohio.

Sad to say his admonition to the president, "If you meant it, now is the time to act," will fall on deaf ears. Actually, it will be DeGarmo's turn to act, in 2020.

Best wishes in his new career. They are lucky to have him.

Pat Sargent, Copley

 

Tropical or Arctic?

If we are “seriously” considering buying Greenland, why not Iceland, too? They have the same benefits of Greenland, including a strategic setting. What if we bought Cuba? It would greatly reduce our defense and intelligence budgets as well remove a politically hot potato issue. Especially in Florida. I’m sure there are other islands ripe for picking. Yes, I’m being sarcastic.

David Loar, Akron