Letters to the Editor

Readers write about gun control, home loans, and Iraqi teachers in America.

Gun control, violence, and Second Amendment rights

Regarding John E. Rosenthal's Feb. 20 Opinion piece, "Had enough gun violence?": I, too, was once convinced that stricter gun-control laws would help curb gun violence. Then, I remember being asked to consider a single statement that made so much sense that it completely reversed my stance on the issue. That statement was, "Criminals do not obey laws."

The logic here is so simple that I am astounded I didn't see it earlier.

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The only ones who will be thwarted by gun control are those who pose no criminal threat.

If a criminal is going to kill, rob, or steal, they are not going to obey a gun law.

The idea that more laws and more antigun lobbyists can change gun violence is absurd. Criminals are certainly emboldened by the fact that their victims are most likely law-abiding, unarmed citizens.

We need to protect responsible Americans from the never-ending push to remove guns from their hands.

Also, we need to address the root causes of crime and terrorist acts.

More gun control is not the solution.

Ryan Dunne
San Francisco

Regarding John E. Rosenthal's recent Opinion piece on gun violence: Mr. Rosenthal says he is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment. I know I am in the minority here, but the Second Amendment is obsolete, no matter what the Supreme Court says. It permits gun ownership, but only for the purpose of having a well-regulated militia.

We no longer have militias. These were state or local groups of civilians that could be called up to put down riots and engage in defense of the state. Moreover, people who were allowed to have weapons were to belong to a "well regulated" militia. In other words, they were subject to being called up to be a part of a military unit, taking orders from their officers. But the average citizen today is not subject to such call-ups.

Whether or not guns should be outlawed or regulated is another topic. But the use of the Second Amendment to justify gun ownership doesn't fly.

Roy Lechtreck
Alabaster, Ala.

What government should do for mortgages

Regarding your Feb. 26 editorial, "How not to rescue home loans": The right action is for the Federal Reserve to do exactly what it has done – lower interest rates, making more capital available to mortgage markets. The markets had frozen, ceasing to function correctly as free markets.

Financial panics of the past, such as in the late 1890s and the 1930s, continued on because of the failure to understand that free markets can fail to function properly, although it was understood that monopoly markets required government intervention.

The current subprime crisis is the result of the business cycle's regular ups and downs affecting the weakest link of the markets. Further government tinkering with the markets is unnecessary and counterproductive.

Howard Lohmuller
Seabrook, Texas

Regarding your recent editorial on Congress's home loans proposals: I like the idea of bankruptcy judges being given the power to modify mortgage payments. It's pretty easy to find the prevailing interest rate, but I don't see the necessity of modifying the value of the mortgage loan.

Most people need a payment reduction, and they will have to pay off the loan when they sell or when the market recovers. That way people can keep their houses and it's not a bailout.

Bill Cadogan
Chairman, Townsend Zoning Board of Appeals
Townsend, Mass.

Encourage Iraqis to teach in America

Regarding the Feb. 20 article, "Iraqi interpreter, rebuilding a life in America, enlists as a US soldier": If they accept, why not give native Arabic speakers like Safaa Wadi teacher training? Helping students learn a difficult foreign language while providing them with cultural lessons about Middle Eastern peoples and cultures would be just as valuable and productive as working as an Army interpreter in Iraq. And it would go a long way in promoting more peace and understanding throughout the world.

Maggie Peters
Wales, Wis.

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. Any letter accepted may appear in print or on our website, www.csmonitor.com. Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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