Letters

WMD and firearms: A faulty connection?

Regarding the Nov. 21 Opinion piece "What if Bush were as eager to control guns as WMD?": I am appalled at the connection between the Beltway sniper, Iraq, and gun control. US laws and the Bill of Rights allow for the right to a free press and the right to bear arms. Over the course of the past 50 years, we as a nation have placed more than 1,000 laws on the books restricting guns and regulating the firearm industry.

As a policeman, I understand that if we enforce even a fraction of those laws, gun violence in this nation would decrease. Why has firearm violence gone up in the past quarter century? Look at the criminal-justice system. I support reasonable laws and restrictions, but I do not want firearms outlawed to placate a vocal minority.
J. Owen
Albuquerque, N.M.

Regarding "What if Bush were as eager to control guns as WMD?": Any US citizen suspected of constructing nuclear bombs or manufacturing nerve gas quickly discovers the Second Amendment doesn't protect such behavior. Conversely, the US doesn't propose that Iraq's Army give up its machine guns.
J.D. Hunter
Hilliard, Fla.

In response to "What if Bush were as eager to control guns as WMD?": As a conscientious teenager and citizen of South Korea, I agree that the US should pay more attention to its own domestic policies and problems before it meddles in the affairs of others. Although President Bush's idea of preemptive action is necessary and appropriate for global security, especially now with Iraq, the US seems to be crossing a line.

In Korea, US military troops are stationed in several different cities in case of an attack from North Korea. But these soldiers are merely troublemakers and are associated with murders, aggravated assaults, and rapes.

It is questionable whether those soldiers are protecting their allies or to simply taking advantage of one of their "colonies." There is no doubt that the US seeks global hegemony.
Ji Youn Jane Jeong
Guangzhou, China

Drivers should never be impaired

In response to your Nov. 20 article "Authorities target driving while 'drugged' ": It is still unknown how impaired a driver is on illegal and legal drugs. It is arbitrary and premature to say illegal drugs are any more hazardous than legally prescribed ones.

Any potentially hazardous drug should be tested to find out the extent of driving impairment. Your article hints that we as a country are still "driving blind" in researching and understanding a typical driver's impairment when he or she is under the influence of anything other than alcohol.
Charles Quilty
Henderson, Nev.

Regarding "Authorities target driving while 'drugged' ": If a driver causes an accident while driving, does it matter if he or she were drunk, drugged, reaching for dropped sunglasses, or chatting on the cellphone?

Beef up existing laws with serious consequences for operating a vehicle while distracted or impaired. Sending them to jail ends up punishing the taxpayer more than it does the errant driver.
Roger G. Pariseau, Jr.
Oxnard, Calif.

In response to "Authorities target driving while 'drugged' ": The presence of a drug in the bloodstream does not mean the person is intoxicated. Some drugs are stored in fat cells for weeks after intoxication has passed. Being convicted of driving while impaired when one is not impaired is unjust. Is America throwing in the towel on its Constitution?
Marcus Rummery
Vancouver, British Columbia

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to oped@csps.com.

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