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On guns and the 'open carry' movement; the Grim Sleeper serial killer case; and Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina and their runs for political office

Letters to the editor

July 13, 2010

Rights, and wrongs

Re "Bearing arms, citing rights," and "Boy, 9, kills brother, 2," July 11

Let's call the members of the "open carry" movement, who promote the right to carry guns in public, what they are: selfish and egotistical. They love the attention they get walking the streets with a pistol on their hip, and they don't give a damn if it frightens people like me and my kids.

I'm sure it makes you feel real big to parade around showing off your power to kill, but to those of us who don't live in your imaginary Deadwood, it's scary and disturbing. And please stop telling us that you are making the streets safer. If we want your help fighting crime, we'll ask you.

Brent Forrester
Pacific Palisades

On the first page of the California section of Sunday's Times, there is a report about a group seeking broader acceptance of guns in public.

Inside the section, on Page 39, the Times reports that a boy killed his young brother by shooting him accidentally.

Enough said.

Michael E. Mahler
Los Angeles

So, let's skip the first problem for a minute — which is that nobody really wants to go to the beach if there are people carrying weapons around — and just pose a question to the proponents of open carry:

How would you guys feel if, say, a few carloads of Crips showed up right next to your beach BBQ, all sporting guns, with ammo on the other hip?

And what do you suppose might happen around sundown after everybody had a little too much to drink and a little too much of the other guys' music?

Guns are for killing. When you go to the beach, take a surfboard, take a Frisbee, take a guitar or take a California girl. Leave the death machine at home (where your 9-year-old can kill his 2-year-old brother with it).

Michael Hynes
Los Angeles

I strongly support the 2nd Amendment, but I oppose open carry — especially open carry with unloaded firearms.

I support California passing a "shall issue" concealed carry weapon law for law-abiding citizens similar to the laws that some 40 other states have.

Law-abiding citizens in those states are safer because their weapons can be concealed, and criminals don't know who is armed. Open carry is provocative and dangerous because an armed criminal, who obeys no gun laws, will point his loaded weapon at you and take yours.

I think the South Bay group advocating this open carry law is either very misguided or a false front for an anti-gun group trying to show gun owners in a bad light.

Either way, it is a bad idea.

Bob Rosenberg
Woodland Hills

It took good police work too

Re "Tracking the Grim Sleeper," Editorial, July 9

I feel certain that all of the detectives throughout the years who worked on cases connected to Lonnie David Franklin Jr. were surprised to find out that an LA Weekly reporter who dubbed the killer the Grim Sleeper provided the motivation they needed to get off their behinds and work these murder cases.

There are no more competitive members of law enforcement than those who choose to be homicide detectives. Most eat and sleep their cases and hate to admit defeat. To have a case fall into the "unsolved" category feels like a personal failure. Moreover, having to admit to a victim's loved ones that he or she is unable to resolve a case is crushing.

To suggest that cases involving prostitutes and street people are not fully investigated because of their social status is patently untrue. Where were The Times and the LA Weekly in the 1980s and 1990s, when these cases were fresh?

I applaud and congratulate Det. Dennis Kilcoyne and his fellow detectives for their outstanding work. Breaking new ground in the use of "familial" DNA is likewise outstanding.

But the basics of solving any murder case are in having witnesses who are willing to get involved, physical evidence and a concerned media willing to keep the community activated.

Sadly, none of these existed in these cases.

Paul Mize
West Covina
The writer is a retired LAPD homicide detective.

Re "'Everybody knew Lonnie,'" July 9

It is certainly good news that the alleged killer of at least 10 women in South Los Angeles has been identified and caught by the LAPD. Congratulations to the detectives and everyone who successfully worked the case.

However, the lack of effort in 1988 in following up victim and witness Enietra Washington's excellent description of the killer and his bright orange Pinto with stripes is impossible to justify.

Human misery and wasted tax dollars are amplified by public servants who take no pride in their work. The work of the current group of detectives is an outstanding example of doing a necessary job well.

Anthony S. Elia
Mission Viejo

Don't discount 'familial' DNA

Re "A 'familial' net," Opinion, July 10

Elizabeth Joh's fears that "familial" DNA threatens privacy interests are vastly overblown. Ditto for the elaborate vetting mechanism set up by the state to cater to such concerns.

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