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Now what, NRA?

Memo to Wayne LaPierre, National Rifle Association:

So now, we understand that two firefighters were killed and another two wounded out near Rochester, N.Y., at the hands of yet another nut case in possession of a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle, the same type of semiautomatic weapon used in the school shooting 10 days earlier in Newtown, Conn.

So what do you say now about the free availability of these rapid fire, high capacity paramilitary weapons that have no legitimate use for sport or home defense? Will we now hear you call for arming firefighters, or perhaps staffing every fire truck or ambulance with armed guards, simply because you and the NRA continue to insist that the Second Amendment guarantees you the right to keep and bear such weapons?

It’s time to man-up, Wayne, and admit that we have a real problem that needs to be solved. No more televised tantrums please –-our first responders’ families don’t need any more of that heartless nonsense.



(The writer is a lawyer, former Concord mayor and life member of the National Rifle Association.)

Epitome of greed

Every day and every night on TV I hear that more food, more toys and money are needed to give to the poor, despite the fact that so many people are having a hard time doing for their own families. We are also asked to give to the armed services and stray pets.

Tell me this: Where are the contributions from all the millionaires and billionaires? Are they all hiding in Florida and other warm places and counting their stacks of money? It really makes me sick how House Speaker John Boehner and his crowd of millionaires are holding the whole country up so they won’t have to pay their fair share in taxes. You talk about “greed” – they are the epitome of it. They are a sad commentary on the Republican Party. I would never trust the Republicans ever again because they are all out for no one but themselves! The hell with everyone else!



Why are people
so threatened?

When I was in grade school in the 1950s, we practiced ducking under our desks to protect ourselves from a nuclear bomb. Now children practice locking down their classrooms. Not from a bomb, but from crazy teens and adults.

Now, it’s clear children are at risk everywhere. “There is no more safe” is the message we and our children now have to live with.

It used to be that most senseless acts of violence were perpetuated by men upon other men. Now women and children are targeted. Every time I think we’ve reached the depths of insanity, another senseless act drags us further down.

When I called home that terrible Friday, my wife was sobbing. When she told me why, I felt the same shock as when the Kennedys and Martin Luther King were shot. And each of the mass shootings since. If you are a parent or grandparent, as I am, the shock can be no greater.

When a child is the victim of senseless violence, we all lose a part of ourselves. When 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan was shot in the head because she advocated for the education of girls, we were all diminished.

The rampant proliferation of guns and the attendant slaughter they empower needs to be addressed as part of a larger societal ill. Why are people so threatened? What do they need protection from? It’s not a nuclear bomb from the Russians anymore. Are we afraid of our neighbors? Ourselves?



Petty jealousy

Re “The big lie” (Monitor letter, Dec. 28):

Mike Bradley writes: “If you tell the big lie often enough, it is accepted as truth.”

Let’s take President Obama’s “balanced approach.” Obama refuses to discuss and commit to cuts, instead focusing on “the wealthy need to pay more” as we speed toward the fiscal cliff. Obama’s approach is “divide and conquer,” knowingly driving a wedge between citizens and using one of the worst economic times in our history to practice “never allow a crisis to go to waste” politics.

It’s not up to House Speaker John Boehner to come up with a solution to the fiscal cliff; it is up to Obama. If Obama gets his wish to raise taxes on those earning $250,000-plus, it would raise only $95 billion over 10 years. That would be enough to run the country for 11 weeks. Then what?

If we confiscated all of the wealth, all of the net worth of those people earning $250,000-plus, we might have enough money to run the country for a year. Then what?

The average person works until May of each year to pay his or her taxes, while government creates more and more programs and entitlements, wasting our tax dollars.

Like most progressives, Bradley believes that government knows best how our hard-earned money is spent. This is not about the 1 percent; it is about a handful of envious fellow citizens who are bent on getting even with folks they feel have been dealt a better hand in life. They fail to see the bigger picture, instead focusing on low-information, simplistic solutions and petty jealousy.



5 smart gun control plans

I agree with President Obama that enough is enough. What we now must do is enact comprehensive gun control legislation such as the following:

1. Permanently ban the sale of all assault weapons.

2. Permanently ban the sale of oversized ammo clips (note that currently, when hunting waterfowl, guns must be limited to three rounds).

3. Create a database of all weapon serial numbers and their ballistic profile that are manufactured in the United States and imported here.

4. Mandate full registration of all weapons that relate weapons to owners.

5. Require background checks for all sales of weapons whether they be in a store, at a gun show/convention or a private sale.

Being a multiple gun owner myself, none of these proposed controls infringe on any of my rights as a responsible citizen and gun owner.

Will these controls have any immediate effect on stemming the violence? Probably very little in the short term because of the 200 million weapons already in circulation, but in the long run they surely will begin to curb some of these horrendous acts of violence as well as the day to day murders that currently plague American streets.

If we do nothing, as has been done after recent mass shootings, then we all must be willing to accept the next Columbine and Newtown. If we can save one life, it is worth it. A life is worth far more than an indiscriminate and irresponsible right of gun ownership.



Security officers seem
like a good start

Am I missing something?

First of all, I am neither pro- or anti-gun. We’re obviously having a problem in this country with mental cases shooting people. So what’s wrong with having an armed security officer at schools? We have a police force in place to protect and serve, so we need service and protection. It doesn’t have to be a military-looking person standing at the front door with a rifle. Just a school security officer. We have a school nurse, a guidance counselor. Why not a school security officer? It may not be the answer, but it seems like a good start. If we let questions like financing and liability stop us, then shame on us. I would be one, proud, American citizen to read a headline like “Insane gunman stopped by school security officer.”



Let’s train school personnel in gun use

As well it should, the gun debate is gaining momentum. Thinking back to my school experience in a Manchester high school, school shootings were most likely nonexistent, and that held true for generations.

Actually, students were allowed to carry guns, for non-school use, in their vehicles. Also, school bus drivers were allowed to carry hunting firearms in plain view on the bus.

Why so different today? It’s no great mystery nor should the situation be unexpected. The entertainment industry’s never-ending, mind-numbing, violent videos and movies that target everyone, our youth in particular, is one thing that really needs control. Also in need of control is the culture of drugs that permeate our society, our youth in particular.

Numerous New Hampshire schools have an armed police presence. We need to add to this presence by recruiting school personnel to train in the responsible use of firearms. Let’s face the facts: There is no so-called gun control that is going to be effective or enforceable. Our children and school employees need armed protection from the wackos that our permissive society has created.



Legacy Comments2

All the anger at the NRA completely misses the point, I think. While tens of millions of citizens own guns, very few are ever used to commit crimes. Any firearm is an inanimate object. It will sit still, completely loaded, forever...or until someone picks it up. SHOULD that person be mentally ill, heinous acts could be committed. The focus of all the discussion should be about Mentally Ill Persons !! How long do we have to continue this discussion of large magazines, 'assault rifles', etc. until we recognize that only mentally ill persons carefully plan multiple murders??

So now our esteemed former Mayor is going to be the mouthpiece quoted NRA member: "no legitimate use" for owning an AR15. Maybe we should all bow down to Mr. Gross's definition of assault weapon too. When a lawyer begins a statement like this one, it ought to start with facts, but in this case Mr. Gross has forgotten to mention that the rifles used in Newtown and upstate NY were both stolen from their owners. Or that in the latter case, the killer was already a convicted murderer who should have been locked up for life, but that liberal thinking allowed him to plea bargain his way back in to society.

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