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'Taming the Gun Monster'

October 21, 1993

* It was relief and a morale booster to read your Oct. 15 editorial "Taming the Gun Monster That Is Consuming America."

I hope that I represent others who are too busy to write in saying that I support your argument and am anxiously awaiting your continued editorials in this series ("America's Gun Epidemic").

I am hoping there are more people in agreement with your position than against it and I hope our voices will be heard and through our actions that our collective wounds begin to be healed.

PAMELA GHALEB

Santa Monica

* We must be doing something wrong in the training of our young people, but a total banning of guns in my opinion is not the solution. The country in Europe with the lowest violence and murder rate is Switzerland. Every household, because of universal military service, has at least one military weapon in the home along with at least 31 rounds of ammunition. In addition it is estimated that there are at least 50,000 fully automatic weapons in homes. (They are not registered so no one is sure.) Handguns are also not registered or illegal and are quite commonly carried concealed.

The availability of weapons apparently has nothing to do with the violence rate. If guns were not available it would be baseball bats, pieces of pipe, sticks, knives or whatever. We need to look at very early childhood education, that which is of necessity given by the parents in the home prior to going to school. It seems that here is where we fail. We must teach that violence is a solution to nothing.

LLOYD B. FISHER

Los Angeles

* Thank you, thank you, thank you for your editorial. It was courageous and eloquent. For years I and my family have waited to see the newspaper take this stand. Say it loud and clear and often, so that all your readers get used to hearing what should be obvious, but has been branded as anathema: We do \o7 not\f7 have a God-given right to guns. Owning guns does \o7 not\f7 make us safe. Until we give up the "right" and demand comprehensive gun control, our society is doomed.

HENRIETTA COSENTINO

Los Angeles

* I am a 43-year-old Orange County businessman, and I have some advice for the Bolsheviks at The Times. Go arrest, disarm and incarcerate the two-legged predators that abuse firearms. That endeavor will be easy in comparison to disarming me and other law-abiding citizens of like mind. Put that in your little red book.

BOB ACHIN

Santa Ana

* It is encouraging to see you dedicate so much space and thought to the issue of handguns and the havoc wrought on communities across the country by the lack of control over their distribution and use. I came upon your editorial after reading, with growing feelings of bewilderment and helplessness, about the latest outburst of gunfire which took place at the health club in El Cajon. Such an action lacked any apparent motive and probably wouldn't have occurred if stricter gun control laws were in effect. While we can all agree that there are, indeed, other more complicated causes of violence in our society grounded in economic and/or psychological circumstances, as with all reform, one must start somewhere and control those factors which we have the capability to control.

The fact that our lawmakers have dragged their feet on instituting greater gun control, or given it only lukewarm and tentative support, is a direct result of the powerful and well-funded gun lobby seeking to protect its members' so-called Second Amendment rights. It seems to me that the questionable "right" to limitless ownership and use of handguns (the sole purpose of which is to maim and kill) takes a back seat to the countless innocent victims whose rights were violated in the most extreme way and whose number could, at any moment, include you or me.

NANCY M. DOLAN

Laguna Beach

* I am 52, and have worked for the same company for 27 years and am currently managing a bank in the community I live in. I like to think I am a respected citizen who makes a difference in my community. I am also a lifelong member of the National Rifle Assn. as are many of my friends and associates.

Gun violence is caused by unlawful behavior and not inanimate objects. To stop the gun violence in this country requires swift and sure punishment in dealing with people who are out of control. Dealing with these problems is much more difficult than just taking lawful citizens' rights to own guns away.

It is much harder to solve our violence problems than passing restrictive gun legislation. Both Washington and New York City have banned guns but are among the most violent of cities; why?

THEODORE D. MOOKLAR

Los Osos

* The editorial on gun control accurately reflects my feelings and those of most of my friends. We consider ourselves responsible citizens and would gladly turn in our guns if the politicians could somehow overcome the NRA lobby and disarm the population. This seems a necessary step in our advancement as a civilization.

PETE CONNOLLY

South Pasadena

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