Tyranny could be the result

By all means, ban assault weapons, and repeal the Second Amendment.

That will fix everything, just as it did in the 20 years the assault weapons ban was in effect, 1984—2004.

While the liberals, the Democrats in government, and the media are saving the world from crazed gun toters, why not, also, legislate brotherhood?

Reality check: There are 300 million guns in the hands of American citizens. More than 100 million Americans, liberals and Democrats included, own guns. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has been packing a concealed weapon for many years, as have many other members of our discombobulated Congress.

An attempt by government to repeal the Second Amendment and take guns from American citizens would be the biggest fiasco President Barack Obama has ever attempted.

The Second Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights to provide "We the People" with a means to keep government from devolving into tyranny.

As Thomas Jefferson so wisely told us: "When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

Ernest Hampson

Pittsburg

Weapons must be regulated

The Second Amendment adamantly requires a "well-regulated militia," not the under-regulated one hawked by the NRA, because it is "necessary to the security of a free state" -- including theaters, malls, churches and schools.

Congress must restore the assault weapons ban, nationally mandate trigger locks and retroactively restrict gun magazines to 10 rounds for civilians.

Trigger locks would have saved the lives of Newtown's children and the shooter's mother. Smaller capacity magazines give victims better chances for defense against gunmen -- as the Tucson massacre demonstrated.

Law-abiding civilians must exchange large-capacity magazines for equivalent smaller ones through eminent domain. This doesn't violate rights "to bear arms." It simply well-regulates how they're borne.

Congress must enact universal, mental health care; it's a proven, cost-effective way to stop spree-shootings before they occur. Being penny wise and pound-foolish has deadly consequences.

All gun purchases must go through vetted, licensed dealers -- not private sellers -- as we efficaciously regulate alcohol. National background databases will identify those who shouldn't possess guns.

Our children's right to life trumps a gun collector's fetish. Let's proactively thwart further spree- killings.

Ed Chainey

Richmond

Gun control does work, for tyrants

"Innocent blood demands no delay for U.S. gun control," said Communist China's official state news agency (Xinhua), a day after the terrible Dec. 14 Sandy Hook murders of 27 people, including 20 young children.

Indeed, gun control works. Just ask the experts -- the depraved governmental tyrants who have followed disarmament programs by murdering many tens of millions more men, women, and children than common criminals, including maniacal loners, have ever killed.

So the Second Amendment and "assault weapons" aren't just about hunting and home security. America's Founders understood the need for citizen defense against governmental despotism. And today, the militia officially still includes all able-bodied males aged 17 to 45 (10 U.S. Code, Section 311) and ex-military personnel under age 64 (32 U.S. Code, Section 313).

Meanwhile, the "federal" government has become increasingly an unconstitutional national government, of autocratically lawless, Godless outlook and impulse.

As Darrell Scott, father of murdered Columbine student Rachel Scott, said to Congress in 1999: America's accelerating alienation from God's laws -- in favor of human laws which "erode away our personal and private liberties" -- has "opened the doors to hatred and violence."

Genuinely needed reforms should begin with public condemnation of Hollywood's panderers and malignant purveyors of violent video games.

Sharon Arata

Danville

Congress must make changes

I strongly feel we should ban assault weapons ownership for the general public. Only the military and those in law enforcement should have access to them.

I also believe in the Second Amendment right to bear arms, however the Constitution was adopted in 1791 -- long before the existence of assault weapons.

Over the years, there have been multiple innocent deaths due to the use of assault weapons. The massacre of 20 beautiful children and six adults in Newtown was unimaginable for many of us. To learn that some children were hit with 11 rounds into their little bodies makes you feel ill.

Yes, Congress needs to make changes immediately.

Len Zavala

Brentwood

NRA's position is indefensible

Yes, the ban on assault weapons should be reinstated.

The leader of the NRA, in his first comments on the Newtown massacre, violated basic logic by recommending that more guns are what we need to curb gun violence. The next cynical thing out of his mouth was that our nation needs improved mental health treatment.

The irony is breathtaking. Who could possibly benefit more from psychiatric treatment than the leadership of the NRA? Their indefensible position on our national health epidemic of violence fits the very definition of paranoid schizophrenia.

It is as plain as the rear end of a goat: The leadership of the NRA is desperately in need of immediate psychiatric help.

James Brennan

Walnut Creek

Every right carries responsibility

Raised on a farm, guns and hunting were a part of my life.

No longer a hunter or target shooter, I'm a former gun owner who realized my guns were toys. I still appreciate the look and feel of a quality weapon, but for me it's just a toy.

In-home self-defense is a delusion. A weapon's useless unless one is prepared to pull the trigger. Given the conditions under which I might be confronted with that decision (darkness, uncertainty), if I am dealing with someone who intends to do me harm, he already has the advantage. He isn't operating under the same constraints as I and I won't add self-defense to his motives.

I'm reminded of the example years ago when a man shot through his bedroom door at night when someone rattled the door. Upon opening the door, he found his teenage daughter bleeding on the floor. She died in his arms.

I'm intolerant of assertions of Second Amendment rights unless accompanied by acknowledgment that with every right there's a responsibility; with guns, that's safety.

I concluded my weapons were a liability and a magnet for thieves. I installed an alarm system, disposed of my guns, and I feel relieved.

James Moore

Danville

Ban would create a black market

Banning some or all types of guns will not solve the problem. It will only create a black market for these weapons.

When a drunken driver injures or kills someone, we don't blame the car or the manufacturer.

It also must be noted when Cain killed his brother Abel with a rock (Genesis 4:9). God put the mark on Cain, not the rock.

John Mullany

Richmond

Any legislation must be tempered

Without any doubt, banning assault weapons won't curtail the gun violence around us to any meaningful extent. Equally certain, it is powerfully evident their ownership must be prohibited.

The turmoil this discussion generates poorly camouflages the truth: Our attempts to bolster and refine gun regulations is testimony to our desire to seize an easy and, ultimately, useless response to a problem we don't have the courage to face.

Assault weapons must be banned. However, any legislation we create must not merely serve the law, it must adhere to the intent of the law, which is greater. It must be an enduring monument to our redoubled efforts to work together for the well-being of all of us, to understand ourselves as well as one another, and to continue toward achievement of fairness wherever we may find ourselves.

This must also be a monument to the hope that when we encounter injustice, we have the wisdom and courage to stand together against it.

Will Emes

Benicia

Keep weapons from 'bad guy'

NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre recently offered this idiotic slogan/solution to preventing more Newtown-like massacres: "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

Isn't this similar to locking the barn door after the horse has bolted? Of course, from the point of view of the NRA and its gun manufacturer buddies, this stupid solution would sell tons more guns.

Instead, here are two sensible solutions: The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is keeping the bad guy from having a gun; and since we can't tell crackpots from normal people until it's too late, the only thing that stops a crackpot from opening up with an assault gun is making it impossible for anyone to have an assault gun.

Robert Zanker

Concord