Readers Write: Not too late to change US priorities in Afghanistan; Gun control advocates use flawed logic

Letters to the Editor for the weekly print issue of February 4, 2013: US actions in Afghanistan have not matched our words; we must push for better governance and offer more development aid. And on gun control: Should the US also outlaw box cutters since they were instrumental in the murder of nearly 3,000 people on 9/11?

US must change course in Afghanistan

The Jan. 21 report "Afghanistan in 2015" states: "After more than a decade of war and costly efforts to build infrastructure ... the view from Kabul is still mixed on Afghanistan's future."

America's actions in Afghanistan have not matched our words. We said we wanted to stop Afghanistan from being a terrorist haven, but we allowed a Taliban supply line and training ground in Pakistan. We said we wanted to promote good governance, then supported Hamid Karzai as corruption, fraudulent elections, and cronyism ran rampant.

We said we wanted to help rebuild Afghanistan, but, as the International Crisis Group reported in August 2011: "The amount of international aid disbursed [to Afghanistan] since 2001 ... is a fraction of what has been spent on the war effort."

It is not too late to change America's priorities in Afghanistan. Afghan children are still suffering from hunger, cold, and untreated wounds. We have spent too much on war and not enough on healing. But we can still change that.

Bill Distler

Bellingham, Wash.

Flawed logic in 'giving up my guns'

In his Jan. 28 commentary "Why I'm giving up my guns," Samuel J. Findley writes: "I am not sure I can abide the similarity between my guns and those that have committed unspeakable atrocities. I am not sure that I can carry a gun, even to hunt ducks."

Using that logic, I would ask Mr. Findley if he will also be surrendering all of his household knives, hammers, and baseball bats to his local police, since those kinds of implements kill many times more people in this country each year than so-called assault weapons. I would also suggest he give up his box cutters; they were instrumental in the murder of nearly 3,000 people on 9/11.

Findley's unilateral disarmament is moot, because he lives in the middle of rural Pennsylvania, a state with a well-armed populace and comparatively low crime rate. If he moved to Chicago or Washington, D.C., and then gave up his guns, I would be more suitably impressed.

John Toutant

Lumberton, N.J.

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