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Letters: The cost of keeping safe

A heavily armed United States Marshall stands guard

A heavily armed United States Marshall stands guard outside the Moakley Federal Court House in Boston after the building was evacuated. (April 17, 2013) Credit: AP

The tongue-in-cheek letter about restricting access to knives misses the point ["Aftermath of the gun-control votes," April 25]. What if the Texas campus attacker had used a gun instead of a knife? The damage inflicted would have been far different.

Howard Benjamin, Albertson

In regard to the letter suggesting a ban and restrictions on knives, I also suggest that everyone owning or buying a pressure cooker be thoroughly checked!

If the government wants to get illegal guns off the streets, how about checking those who turn guns in "no questions asked" for money?

Margaret Coppola, Baldwin

Regarding "Boston terrorists, FBI and gun control" [Letters, April 23], in our country it seems there is a need to place blame on someone or something -- such as the FBI -- to avoid admitting that we are responsible for ourselves, that with great freedom there is risk, and that people are unpredictable and capable of horrendous acts.

Americans zealously guard our constitutional freedoms, yet when a tragedy occurs, we ask, why didn't someone prevent this? We complain about surveillance cameras, worried that Big Brother is watching, yet when a tragedy occurs, we ask why no one was watching.

What standard would need to be met to institute surveillance on a person? Imagine if law enforcement could, provided there is enough money and manpower, conduct 24-hour surveillance on someone based on allegation or innuendo, or religion or race? Or just because. And for how long? A week, a month, to Russia and back?

We want our guns, but not in certain hands. What does a "bad guy" or a "terrorist" look like? The neighbors don't know. So who decides?

The blame game does not assuage our own responsibility to make the compromises needed to prevent future tragedies. The cost of freedom is dear; are we willing to pay the price?

Chris Monzert, Lynbrook