Better idea: Keep guns from the '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.
Compromise doesn't mean capitulation
The definition of compromise is, among other things, give and take, find the middle ground and cooperation.
The Dec. 27 Times editorial, "So much for compromise on the cliff," appears to define compromise as capitulation to the Democrats' position no matter what game they're playing, or how much they intend to drive the country further into debt, which is growing at more than $1.2 trillion yearly.
Although President Barack Obama has given lip service to spending cuts, nowhere is there any movement on his part to propose spending cuts of any significance. In fact, Obama wants to increase spending with $50 billion in more stimulus money, even though the major problem facing the country is out-of-control spending.
No amount of increased revenue, aka taxes, will fix the problem. Wouldn't some agreed ratio of spending cuts to increased taxes make a better compromise -- say $4 in spending cuts to a $1 increase in taxes? While a modest start, it will get us nowhere, since the Social Security Administration for fiscal year 2012 generated a loss of $47.8 billion, in a benefits program that was supposed to be solvent for a number of years.
Thomas Sowell and gun control
In defense of current gun laws, Thomas Sowell recently cited the ineffectiveness of gun control laws in Washington, D.C., Brazil, Mexico and Russia. Using his method of correlation, we might also conclude that the seasonal purchase of umbrellas is the cause of precipitation.
The gun-related murder rates in the areas he cites are obviously subject to complicated societal influences beyond gun control, such as drugs, unemployment, high concentrations of gangs or access to banned weapons from less regulated regions.
Gun rights advocates might argue that the Second Amendment serves as a recourse to tyranny, while the other extreme claims the Second Amendment protects our right to go duck hunting. This is a case where common sense should prevail.
Does Sowell really think we are better off if private citizens have the right to fire 100 rounds a minute using bullets that are designed to maim?
Private citizens can't own rocket-propelled grenades. Would a rocket-propelled grenade have caused any less damage or heartbreak in Newtown than the assault rifle and hollow-point bullets used in the assault at Sandy Hook school?
Does a gun make us more secure?
A bad guy, plus a gun, plus bullets: You have a problem. Take the bad guy or the gun out of the equation: The problem is not as serious.
Protecting the Second Amendment is expensive in more ways than one and may get more expensive. Remember when you did not have to go through a security checkpoint in an airport and some public buildings? The day may come when we must do likewise at all public buildings.
We are going backward. Should every household have a gun and everyone carry a gun to feel secure?
That doesn't sound like a safe country to live in. Are we going to recommend visitors to our country to carry a gun?
Let's return to intent of Second Amendment
This is in response to Nicholas Kristof's piece, "We must ask ourselves if we have the courage to stop this."
I urgently request that the feckless Democratic president, for whom I voted, and the feckless Democratic senators and congressional representatives of California, for whom I voted, demonstrate the leadership for which I voted.
California is the nation's leading state. Lead, lead, lead! Lead your fellow members of the Senate and House -- including those members across the aisle -- to vote for stringent controls of weapons that fail to comply with the precise language of the Second Amendment and the intentions of our founding fathers. "Keep and bear arms" refers to single-shot, muzzle-loading muskets.
There is no historical record of any intention of our founders that every member of our nation bear even one semi-automatic weapon.
Patrick M. Lofft
Lofft is a grief minister for the Catholic Community of Pleasanton.
Weapons may one day come in quite handy
The debate about the right to bear arms notwithstanding, with our armed forces spread out all over the globe, we may wake up one day and be glad we have some weapons lying around.