More gun control is not the answer to violence

I do not agree with President Barack Obama's gun control proposals because I do not favor additional gun control.

"Assault weapons," as the press calls them, are semi-automatic sporting rifles and have been for sale to the public for almost 50 years.

The federal ban from 1994 to 2004 produced no measurable reduction in gun crime and, in fact, were used in .05 percent of gun crime nationwide. It sounds bad and it is an easy target for politicians looking for votes.

If the president's argument that "if it saves just one life, then it is worth it" were valid, then laws would be written to keep children out of automobiles, ban bathtubs, etc. The argument that the presence of a gun would escalate a situation is also false. I certainly would want the option to protect me and my family, rather than rely on the benevolence of a gunman whose motives are unknown.

Forty states allow easy access to concealed-carry permits. The argument that there would be blood running in the streets never materialized and crime is down. Blame the individual, not the gun.

David Pastor

Pleasanton

Proposed firearms rules are appropriate

Despite rhetoric from the National Rifle Association, the U.S. Constitution does not give unbridled rights of gun ownership to the American people. Restricting assault-weapon and ammunition ownership to the military and law enforcement is appropriate.

President Barack Obama's proposals are broad: establish background checks for all gun purchases and limits to gun magazines; ban armor-piercing weapons from the general public; finally confirm a director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and expand mental-health treatment for the young, to name a few.

The proposals take nothing away from people with legitimate gun needs, such as for hunting, self-defense and recreational target practice. Their restrictions are reasonable for an advanced civilization, because we have no place for "Wild West" mentalities in our country any longer.

They will prevent people from hiding their weapons behind a cloak of invisibility and make people more responsible for the use of their guns. They provide mental health services and mental health reporting to help quell the problems we have experienced in the recent past.

Yes, I favor gun control proposals advanced by President Obama because they are reasonable.

William A. Buchanan

Livermore

New regulations will give us a safer society

After reviewing President Barack Obama's proposed actions to reduce gun dangers, I find that I agree with each step, including administrative actions and needed legislative action.

None of the rights enumerated in the Second Amendment are seriously diminished. The Constitution provides for a "well regulated militia." As with the regulation of other dangerous topics, the government has not only the right, but the duty, to develop and implement regulations to protect the public.

Granted, some of the proposed regulations will create additional cost and effort for those who choose to purchase, own and use guns. Additionally, some enterprises based upon the unregulated transfer of weapons will disappear, as they should.

Implementation of the proposed regulations will take decades to re-create the safe and secure society we all deserve. It took more than 200 years from the founding of our country to reach the sorry state we are now in. We need to reverse the trend now.

Thomas E. Lindemuth

Walnut Creek

U.S. should regulate drugs, not weapons

The Constitution doesn't give the executive branch the right to deny law-abiding citizens their Second Amendment rights.

President Barack Obama's proposals will do nothing to stop gun violence but, rather, will continue the move to a total surveillance society. For years, the feds have chipped away our gun-ownership rights until, today, any citizen could find himself in jail for simply using a gun in self-defense. Thank the Patriot Act for suspending our right to habeas corpus.

These proposals strengthen the move to strip gun ownership from any citizen classified as having mental illness or instability. Doctors are encouraged to ask patients if they own a gun and freely share information with the feds. I'd rather see regulation of dangerous psychoactive drugs, persistent key players in recent school shootings.

If the feds really cared about our children's safety, they'd do away with ridiculous "gun free zones" and allow any properly trained school official to pack heat. I'm tired of seeing our precious children become sitting ducks, while continuing suspicious gun violence plagues government schools.

Marilynne L. Mellander

El Sobrante

Banning assault rifles is not the answer

President Barack Obama is not trying to stop gun violence. He is using the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook school to further his agenda to ban assault rifles.

The guns aren't the problem, it's the people who have access to them that is the problem. We need to make sure criminals and the mentally ill don't have access to any types of firearms.

I agree that all states should have mandatory background checks, such as in states like California, but they need to go one step further. Right now, only 17 out of 50 states in the United States voluntarily submit a list of mentally ill patients who have been institutionalized against their will.

Today, there are more than 3 million people in the United States who have been institutionalized against their will, but only 90,000 of them are on file with the U.S. government.

This means more than 2.9 million mentally ill patients could potentially have access to a firearm.

We need to stop focusing on banning a particular type of firearm, or high-capacity magazine, and start focusing on criminals, as well as the mentally ill.

Randy Martinez

Martinez

Must better understand truth about gun control

Any reasonably intelligent person (with or without firearm skills), who can break through the "conspiracy theorist" drivel, think for himself, and analyze the Patriot Act, National Defense Authorization Act legislation, fed/taxpayer bailouts of the big banks, lack of prosecution for crimes behind the 2008 financial collapse, and numerous executive orders that chip away at our inalienable rights, should be skeptical about the current agenda to disarm citizens and effectively do away with the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

Our nation became the envy of the world because of an emphasis on individual (not collective) freedoms, rights, and responsibilities and a government with powers constrained.

If one can think out of the (political correctness) box, he would see that Washington's latest proposals to further curtail our individual rights are not founded on concerns for protecting schoolchildren from violence.

Rather, bigger issues of power, control and loss of freedom are at hand. President Abraham Lincoln cautioned: "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."

Chris Kniel

Orinda