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Letters to the editor

Misperceptions stoke anti-gun hysterics

Recent articles by people concerned about school shootings confuse an automatic battlefield weapon with a semi-automatic crime gun.

“Assault rifle” is the buzzword many in the media use to describe firearms used in recent killings. When people unfamiliar with firearms read the articles and check the Wikipedia definition, they become concerned these fully automatic machine guns and magazines are so easily available and hysteria ensues.

Anti-gun zealots (again) propose an “assault weapons ban” prohibiting only semi-automatic rifles and magazines that simply look like their military (true assault rifle) counterpart. They function as but are less powerful than many common hunting and target rifles and are used as such. (Automatic firearms and true assault rifles manufactured before 1986 may be legally purchased from a Class III dealer by obtaining a $200 federal permit, depending on your state. These weapons have not been preferred by criminals since the 1930s).

The previous “assault weapons ban” lasted for 10 years (1994-2004), did not prevent the Columbine shooting and had no effect on the gun crime rate. Even when “assault rifles” were once again legal, the gun crime rate stayed the same or dropped.

Over the same period more and more states (now 41) passed laws allowing their citizens to obtain permits for concealed carry of firearms. While some predicted blood in the streets, crime rates have mostly dropped in those states allowing concealed carry while states that don’t trust their citizens to carry have seen their crime rates rise or remain the same.

DAN FORBING Leo-Cedarville

Coliseum perfect gun show locale

In response to Mark Meyer’s letter (“Public venues like Coliseum no place for gun shows,” Jan. 16): Gun owners pay taxes also. What building would be more appropriate than the Memorial Coliseum to have a gun show – a building that honors men and women who gave their lives in the cause of freedom? That freedom allows you to have your opinion and me to have mine.

NELSON DRUDGE Columbia City

Anti-gun fanatics can’t deal in facts

As I perused the Jan. 12 paper, I found a piece that concerned a 6-year-old boy suspended from school for pointing his finger at another child and saying “pow.” All parents of this future mass murderer’s classmates should be truly indebted to the alert administration that acted quickly to keep their kids safe.

I was just as saddened and outraged by the events in Newtown, Conn. as anyone who values human life could be. I do not profess to have an answer to violence. I have found some enlightenment in the arguments by many self-appointed “experts” who believe that banning all guns should result in a utopian world. I have learned, however, that semi-automatic rifles are apparently really “machine guns.” Any weapon that has a black finish is actually an “assault weapon,” and that any magazine holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition is actually a “high-capacity clip full of bullets.”

It is worth mentioning that Chicago banned ownership of all handguns in 1982. There were 500 homicides in Chicago last year. Gun control has certainly worked for them, hasn’t it?

Since you can’t be certain whether that person in front of you at the cash register is legally armed, what can you do? Right, wave your paranoia like a flag and demand somebody do something.

Along with the aforementioned 6-year-old boy, we await our psychiatric counseling because we obviously have violent tendencies and know that all of you who disagree with us will save both society and us from ourselves.

MICHAEL ORT Fort Wayne

God, not guns, is what we need in schools

Why is the National Rifle Association so adamant about restrictions on assault weapons and ammunition? Guns will not be taken away completely due to the Second Amendment. Isn’t one or two guns to a household sufficient for protection?

hould a restriction of guns be implemented?

Will the good guy school personnel be trained to use a handgun to protect students from a bad guy using an assault weapon? Assault weapons are for warfare. Now the schools will be considered a war zone.

God is needed back in the schools instead of weapons: That will help the mental problem associated with destroying humans.

Is the NRA the government of the United States or do we still have a president, Senate and House? I’m beginning to wonder whether our government has the nerve to stand against the NRA, which is putting guns over the welfare of the nation’s citizens. It seems they have no conscience.

When will the government stand up against the entertainment industry and keep check on the violence and horrible scenes shown? Real humans are viewed as another object, no sense of feeling.

It doesn’t take a mental specialist to know what is happening. Are the government and its citizens losing the common sense and the brains God gave us?

AUDREY DeBOLT Convoy, Ohio

Assault rifles would be OK by founders

The way to reduce traffic fatalities is to ban motor vehicles. That is absurd, right? The way to reduce drug abuse is to ban heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines. We already did that, and we still have drug abuse.

But certainly, the way to prevent school shootings is to begin banning weapons and high-capacity magazines. No one needs an “assault rifle,” right? Well, no one needs a Corvette, either.

The tragedy at Sandy Hook was indeed horrendous, but emotional knee-jerk reactions to it are worse. Statistically, schoolchildren are far more likely to die in traffic accidents than to be murdered with a firearm. More people were murdered in the United States last year with hammers than with rifles, yet the rifle is to blame? Will a criminal with a 30-round magazine wreak more havoc than a criminal with three 10-round magazines?

The Second Amendment was to ensure the people could not easily be subjected to a tyrannical government. Both the Federalists and their opponents agreed on this. It was not about hunting. I am confident that the Founding Fathers would indeed favor the individual’s right to own a so-called assault rifle in that trying to stop a tyrannical government with less than equal force would not make sense. If the Constitution needs to be changed, let’s go through the proper amendment process instead of simply ignoring and infringing upon it.

If the politicians really want to make the citizens more secure, they should eliminate the deficit and pay down the national debt.

DENNIS L. COOLEY New Haven

Barn style more popular than article suggested

Just a note about the old arch-roof barns of the 1940s, as pictured on Page 6F on Jan. 20. It was an interesting story from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, but I think those barn roofs are not as rare as the story suggested by the statement that there are “only a half-dozen in the nation.”

To check on my memory, I called my brother. I am 85 and he is 83, and we grew up in the 1940s in northern Illinois, where he still lives. In those days it was common for barn fires to occur, with inadequately dried hay being put into the barn and spontaneously combusting.

Often the newly built barn would use the arched-roof construction with glued-together laminated arched rafters which needed no interior supports and thus provided better storage space. We think it may have been called a “Gothic” roof, and many of them were built in the 1940s with considerably more than a “half-dozen” still existing. Watch for them as you drive around the countryside – but don’t be fooled by the “hip-roof” design, with a ridge along each side instead of the gradual curve.

L. DWIGHT FARRINGER North Manchester

The definitive word on moving statue

Obviously most people do not want to see taxpayer money wasted on moving Gen. Anthony Wayne to a more sunny location with more exhaust fumes. How does the general feel? He said he prefers the shade and cleaner air where he is and to please not move him. His request will hopefully end this idea.

EARL BRAUNLIN Fort Wayne

Studies reveal where society’s problems lie

The January/February issue of Scientific American Mind has two especially good articles on how psychopaths think and on narcissism.

It is interesting how similarly the two think, though a psychopath is more likely to keep his cool while the narcissist is more arrogant than competent and more likely to lose his cool. Both may be very able and both are more self-interested. The narcissist, however, is more likely to lose his/her cool and resort to temper tantrums when his/her superiority is not recognized by others. The psychopath, however, may prefer to hide his/her superiority or cleverness to gain an advantage over others so long as he/she comes ahead in the end.

Interesting also is a chart of a British survey showing the most psychopathic profession is CEO, with lawyers coming in second. Apparently not all psychopaths are found in prisons or mental wards. Some cleverly skirt the law or pay off politicians to ensure that some crimes are not made officially illegal.

Throw in an earlier study by Paul Pit which found the rich more likely to ignore the rules or even arrogantly violate the laws and “less likely to perceive the impact that their behavior has on others” and you get a pretty good idea who the real problems in society are. Personally, I suspect the rich who break the rules and laws are just arrogant and know full well how their behavior affects others.

RICHARD D. SLOAN Fort Wayne

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