NRA Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre's speech added to the debate about… (Alex Wong / Getty Images )
Though some readers warned against rushing to pass sweeping laws that may conflict with the 2nd Amendment in the wake of the shooting in Newtown, Conn., this month, the split among letters that took a position on gun control has been decisively in favor of those seeking action by Washington.
Where gun rights supporters have been more vocal is in responding to specific calls for stricter firearms laws printed in the paper. Reader Cathy Colloff's Dec. 25 letter, which warned that the proliferation of guns in America posed a threat to civil society, drew several such responses. On the pro-gun control side, some readers took issue with letters comparing the Newtown shootings to a knife-slashing incident in China.
Here is a selection of those responses.
Re "The NRA vision for America," Letters, Dec. 25
Those who are serious about a reasonable tactic to prevent another tragedy like the one in Connecticut expected some silliness in the letters section following the recent comments by National Rifle Assn. Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre. But Colloff takes first prize: "It (the NRA) wants to put armed guards in all schools to protect us from the people it is protecting, when what we really need is protection against them."
How's that again?
She states further that an "armed society spells the end of civil public discourse and, consequently, the end of democracy."
We have an armed society now. We have armed police on our streets, armed agents surrounding President Obama wherever he goes and armed guards at our airports, banks and casinos.
Sidney P. Anderson
Colloff should know that an armed society during the American Revolution was the beginning of our democracy.
America has always been an armed society. Many Americans have a gun in their home. During hunting season, many have their rifle or shotgun with them. These people are good neighbors, good friends and law-abiding citizens.
What we have to fear is the lunatics who for no apparent reason want to kill groups of people. Guns are only one of the ways lunatics kill people. The problem is how to detect and stop the lunatics who just want to kill other people by any means.
Re "The gun debate," Letters, Dec. 20
Gun control opponents, including some who have written letters to The Times, have been quick to claim that the recent knife attack in China proves that if we banned guns, violent criminals would simply turn to other weapons.
They are right, of course. If Adam Lanza hadn't been able to get access to high-powered guns, he would surely have used a knife at the school. And instead of 20 dead children and six dead adults, we would have had perhaps two dead people and a bunch with bad cuts that would eventually heal.
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