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Letters: Gun control: Yea and nay

As night falls, candles sit illuminated along the

As night falls, candles sit illuminated along the sidewalk in front of a makeshift memorial for the victims of a mass shooting at the Century 16 theater east of the Aurora Mall in Aurora, Colo. (July 20, 2012) Credit: AP

The president, like most of our citizenry, is ignorant of the meaning and purpose of the Second Amendment. It was not written to guarantee hunting and shooting. It was not written to guarantee a tradition that would continue indefinitely. It was written because elitists ruled during the authors' day, just as they rule today. It was written to allow citizens to defend themselves against their government.

The right is there to protect us from the soldiers. So to own the same weapons the soldiers possess is the true definition of the Second Amendment. Beware the progressives; they are wolves in sheep's clothing.

Ralph A. DelSardo, Massapequa

Regarding your editorial "Not helpless to control guns" [July 25], all emphasis is placed on the need for further gun control. Yet guns are merely the means for this recent massacre. What about the motive?

Professionals agree that sick people like James Holmes are often motivated by the lure of notoriety and thus some relevance. Holmes is now world famous, beyond his greatest dreams, many thanks to our media.

It is hypocritical of the media to pretend that they don't play at least some part in this tragedy, while placing the entire blame on the need for further gun control.

The media would be acting more responsibly if they enacted a blackout of the name, identity and photos of any perpetrator of this type of incident. This would at least eliminate one possible motive.

Gerald Fortsch, Smithtown

I believe that no citizen should be allowed to possess more than a handgun for protection and a rifle for leisure. Anyone using weapons illegally should face a minimum of 25 years in prison.

Weapons with more firepower should be used only by the police and military.

But there are factors that complicate the issue. The Second Amendment, the right to bear arms, was designed not to protect citizens from criminals and other wrongdoing, but from their own government. Given that reasoning, citizens would have a huge problem with the government telling them what guns they have the right to own.

Ray Collette, Selden

Your editorial stated that there are 12,000 murders committed with firearms annually. A letter writer stated that there are more than 32,000 deaths on U.S. roads annually because of a disregard for the rules of the road ["Reckless on roads," July 25].

I say, ban cars. They seem to have it over guns by a landslide.

Christine Sallah, Bellport

The recent horrific events in Aurora, Colo., have unified the country in grieving for innocent Americans who were simply trying to enjoy a night out at the movies. But we must also speak out about the devastating effects of our nation's lax gun laws.

When our founding fathers drafted and ratified the Second Amendment, the musket was the nation's primary militia firearm, and it took 15 seconds to two minutes to reload after each shot. In Aurora, the shooter used a semiautomatic assault rifle with a high-capacity magazine that held 100 rounds. It fired as fast as he could repeatedly pull the trigger.

I was pleased that President Barack Obama spoke out and declared that we must do more to reduce violence and reform our gun laws ["Obama seeks some controls on gun sales," News, July 26]. It's now time for Congress and Republican candidate Mitt Romney to stand up to the National Rifle Association.

When homicidal and mentally ill individuals can purchase assault weapons, high capacity ammunition magazines and thousands of rounds of ammunition in a few weeks with little or no screening, the balance between public safety and individual liberty is dramatically out of whack.

Mike Seilback, Commack

A letter writer asks, "If people in that theater had been armed with permitted concealed weapons, would lives have been saved?" ["Guns: cause or deterrent?" Letters, July 24].

All I can say is, are you crazy? I cannot imagine how many more people would have been killed or injured if there had been multiple people shooting in the dark theater.

Bill Jensen, Brentwood

I would like to praise Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola) for her stance against assault weapons and high-capacity magazines ["It's time for honest talk on gun violence," News, July 22].

She has seen firsthand the devastation to friends and families whose loved ones are killed. The killing has to stop, for we have lost children and young adults, and people in law enforcement.

I believe assault weapons and high-capacity magazines should only be sold to those in law enforcement. What respecting sportsman needs an AK-47 to hunt?

Frederick R. Bedell Jr., Glen Oaks Village

I would be more inclined to believe New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's statements about the Second Amendment if his actions backed up his words.

He says his intention is to get illegal guns and guns that are in the hands of criminals off the street. Instead, his policies put up onerous roadblocks for good guys, who have a hard time getting and keeping a gun-carry permit in the city.

Tom Caro, Levittown