Balancing gun rights with prevention
Regarding the global report "Newtown: world reacts" in the Dec. 31, 2012 & Jan. 7, 2013 issue: The debate about gun control in America is like the debate about abortion here. They're both complex issues with no simple, easy answers until you ask someone with an opinion, and we all have a different one.
The Second Amendment to the US Constitution is unique. No other country on earth has a similar, constitutional right. But no one, gun owners or otherwise, wants innocent people to be hurt. How do we maintain the integrity of the Second Amendment for honest, law-abiding, US citizens while preventing access for those who shouldn't have it? There is no single, magical answer to this problem. We need to have meaningful, nonpolitical discussions on how to prevent another tragedy like Sandy Hook.
America's culture of fear sells
Courtney E. Martin, in her Jan. 14 commentary, "After Sandy Hook: how to keep kids safe," is right to note the culture of fear regarding kidnapping during her childhood in the 1980s and the fear of gun violence children face today. TV has made a nation of sensationalism. During my childhood in the late 1950s, duck-and-cover drills were part of our school days; the A-bomb was coming.
Someone discovered long ago that fear sells; and like magicians, the media and lobbyists keep us distracted by repeating the same news and message.
Gun control and America's Bill of Rights
Regarding Ms. Martin's commentary as well as The Monitor's View "Meeting fire with ... water" in the Jan. 14 issue: Let me start by saying I do not own a gun, have never owned a gun, and only fired a weapon while serving in the armed forces. But I am troubled by the rush to legislate gun control. If Americans let government legislate change to one part of our Bill of Rights, a precedent for legislating change to any part will be established.
There is a process for amending the Constitution; let's use it. Amending the Second Amendment would force a national debate, giving citizens a voice. We need to allow the Constitution to work as it was intended.