Newsday received two dozen letters about the Colorado Batman shootings ["Theater shooter's gun jammed," News, July 23]. Thirteen writers called for greater legal controls over guns, particularly assault weapons. Only one said guns weren't to blame for the violence. The rest made other points. Here's a sample
I hope I never again have to hear the ridiculous statement, "Guns don't kill, people do." Sure, you can kill someone with a baseball bat or a knife, but those items were invented and manufactured for other purposes. Guns, on the other hand, were created for the sole purpose of killing animals and people.
It's time for the politicians to make gun-purchasing an almost impossible task.
Ann Marie Carboni, Manorville
Questions have been raised by politicians such as Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola) and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg about having stricter gun laws to prevent incidents like this. However, stricter laws would do the opposite.
Most guns used in crimes, 79 percent, are acquired illegally. Law-abiding citizens are not the ones who will bring guns into restricted areas.
Since the passage of its right-to-carry law, murder in Florida has decreased, while since the handgun ban took effect in Chicago, firearm murders have increased.
A 1982 survey of convicted felons found that 34 percent of them had been scared away, shot, or captured by a victim who was armed. One must ask, if people in that theater had been armed with permitted concealed weapons, would lives have been saved?
Hopefully our politicians will look at facts and statistics before they rush to judgment. More regulation and government are usually not the solution, but rather the problem.
Ryan Pearsall, East Islip
Although I am politically conservative, I believe that many rely incorrectly upon Supreme Court decisions that have rewritten the Second Amendment. I recall from law school that the right to bear arms is inextricably tied to the necessity for a well-regulated militia to secure a free state.
The Second Amendment was born of a need to deter tyrannical government, repel invasion, suppress insurrection, facilitate the natural right of self-defense, allow participation in law enforcement and enable the people to organize a militia.
I must have missed the day when they taught that the Second Amendment really reads: "A segment of society desirous of maintaining high-powered assault weapons and enough ammunition to take over a small country, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of such people to keep such weapons and bear them in schools, malls, movie theaters and other public places, shall not be infringed." Live and learn.
Josh H. Kardisch, East Meadow
In the wake of another senseless tragedy, my wife and I have been having "gun conversations" with our two children. Neither my son nor my daughter can understand why or how so many Americans can possess so many guns and bullets. On a recent drive through a Southern state, we saw one billboard ad for a shooting range that included specific encouragement to bring your own machine gun.
Ken Young, Old Bethpage
For many decades, the tobacco industry had free reign. Smokers had "rights," until nonsmoking people stood up to the tobacco companies and declared that they had rights also -- the right to fly on a plane or eat a meal without being subjected to a cloud of smoke.
Susan Remkus Denis, Sag Harbor
There is excessive violence in today's movies. While most who flock to these movies do not condone such violence, there are those, like the suspected shooter, who feed on it.
He is obviously a very warped and sick individual, but Hollywood has to bear some responsibility. The movie industry should begin to censor the content of movies, limiting the amount of gratuitous violence, even though it seems to sell so well and bring in a huge profit.
Carole Weigel, Glen Head
It is long past time for President Barack Obama and Congress to do what is right concerning the ownership of lethal assault weapons by private citizens. Weapons designed to kill many people at once do not belong in the hands of the average citizen.
Robin Wieder, East Rockaway
I am saddened and sickened by the events of the massacre in Colorado. But more important, I am saddened and sickened by the lack of action in Washington for the welfare of a majority of American people. How can the federal government allow National Rifle Association lobbyists to terrorize the law-abiding, taxpaying hardworking American people?
My civil liberties are being held hostage by deranged individuals who have assault weapons. When did going to the movies, shopping at the mall, getting a prescription filled or attending school become a terrorizing event? Who is protecting Americans just going about their daily activities from being gunned down?
Innocent Americans are dying because the NRA has held Washington hostage. When is this madness going to stop? This is not a Republican or Democratic issue, it is an American issue.
Angela Rich, Port Washington
There's a low-tech solution for this modern menace, and it used to be featured in nearly every theater in the land: an usher in the theater. This attendant may well now need to be armed.
If patrons will pay a few extra dollars for one-time use of 3-D spectacles, wouldn't most of us be willing to cover a security surcharge?
Jim Burns, Valley Stream