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Letters: Gun-control debate heats up

Whatever everyone may want to believe, quickly passing restrictive feel-good laws and suppressing freedom will not save lives ["Obama vows to take on guns," News, Dec. 31]. Weapon bans will only continue to make people vulnerable.

There will always be tragedies that cannot be averted. Why open the door wide for those who will not comply with an arms ban? The mentally ill and criminals will prey upon an innocent disarmed public. Why set the stage for future tragic scenarios?

Can we all recall the historic failure of the very noble cause of banning alcohol?

I find this rush to react extremely frightening, along with the cavalier attitude with which people are so willing to ignore the Second Amendment to show they are addressing a problem.

Ronald Para, Ridge

A letter writer asserted incorrect information on the effects of gun-control laws: "Cities with the strictest gun laws, such as New York and Chicago, have high rates of gun-related crimes" ["Security, weaponry, sanity," Dec. 18].

In 2010 in New York City, the percentage of homicides committed with firearms was 61 percent, and nationally it was 67.5 percent. Furthermore, the vast majority of crimes in New York are committed with firearms from out of state.

So obviously, to solve this problem we need a national gun-control law. If it is to be effective, perhaps we should model it after places with effective gun control, such as the United Kingdom. In 2008 and 2009, firearms were involved in just 0.3 percent of crimes recorded in England and Wales.

The letter writer brought up the role of an armed citizenry fighting tyranny. In the modern world, if our government were to become truly tyrannical, one would need cruise missiles, tanks and F-22 fighter jets to bring it down. So if a citizen is entitled to a Bushmaster semiautomatic 100-round rifle, which didn't exist in 1787, why not a cruise missile or an F-22?

Joel Herman, Melville