December 23, 2012

Letters to the editor: Nemitz mostly misses mark on NRA

Regarding Bill Nemitz's column on Dec. 16 ("Again, NRA has much to answer for"): He brings up some very salient points concerning the National Rifle Association, and my position is not one of defending that organization.

Newtown Mourners
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Mourners embrace Monday outside the Newtown, Conn., funeral home where a service was held for one of the 20 local schoolchildren killed Dec. 14. Readers take issue with a column critical of the NRA in the context of the tragedy.

REUTERS

I am a gun owner. In fact, I own several that I use for hunting, and I have others that are antiques that I have as collectibles.

As he pointed out in his column, guns are so prolific in our society that the sad truth is that regardless of any current or future gun control laws, a person intent on doing harm will be able to obtain a gun, legally or otherwise.

I think that the tragic outcome of the events in Connecticut would have been very different if at least one of the adults in that school had a firearm and was trained in using it. Perhaps more guns in trained hands is a solution.

Another point he did not address is, as a society, we should look at the violence in the all-too-realistic video games. For a person who is on the edge with mental illness, the step from video game shooter to real shooter is not so far. Why not ban those types of realistic violent video games?

If I am threatened in my home, I have guns and will use them. Thanks to Hollywood, the sound of a pump shotgun chambering a round is recognizable to everyone.

I would rather be a live defendant than a dead plaintiff. I am sure the families of the victims now wish their loved ones had that choice and could let the courts determine the dead shooter's "rights."

I also cannot help but wonder if in June 1944, when all of my mother's family was taken for "resettlement," would they have gone so peacefully to their fate at Auschwitz-Birkenau if they had access to firearms?

Gabor Korthy

Portland

Has Bill Nemitz no shame at all? I don't happen to belong to the National Rifle Association, but I do know some history, so that the idea of citizens able to resist oppressive governments, as well as the criminals who are always preying on the weak and helpless, is obvious.

There isn't a sane person in the United States, North America or the world who isn't sickened by the slaughter of these innocents. But let's be honest: There are monsters prowling the streets: They can't be stopped by more laws or hysterics howling for a magic cure.

Change the social system to end the poverty, helplessness and ignorance that produce rage. Provide mental help for those lost and alone. But when they do ravage the babies, the elderly and all the rest of us (as some will), ruthlessly put them down for the rabid monsters they are. Help those willing to be helped -- cull the predators from our herd.

Wringing hands and weeping isn't enough. Who protects us until the police arrive?

By the way, Mr. Nemitz: You brought up the shameful spouting of Bob Costas. A sports commentator raves about guns instead of immediately thinking about hulking athletes who may have used questionable drugs to ruin their minds, the very people he built a career upon. Some folks should talk about things they know.

There are armed citizens and there are slaves. I know where I stand in that sentence, and I respect Mr. Nemitz when he walks to the opposite. We each have the right to choose our place.

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