I write in reply to Drs Ansleigh (“Arm against massacres,” Reader Input, Jan. 3) and Drysdale (“Founding fathers used foresight,” Reader Input, Jan. 4). For W.Drysdale, our family resides locally and owns weapons under California law. These exist because federal laws, where the NRA concentrates its effort, are weak or non-existent. If he can document public endorsement by the NRA for gun registration in California, I will eat a copy in Auburn’s Central Plaza.
Furthermore, as of 2004, records of background checks are destroyed within a day of the NICS’ dealer response (DOJ appropriations, 2004 et seq).
On some of G. Ansleigh’s bullet points: dum-dum ammo, originally banned as ‘too inhumane’, is grandparent to hollow-points from Black Talon (several massacres) to PDX1, ammo of the FBI and publicly available. If he visited an inner city ER where child victims of drive-by shootings are treated, he might find that the results of their misuse are indeed, ‘horrifying’.
His statement that assault weapons bans don’t reduce crime is false; a 2004 report to National Institute of Justice found the ban reduced crime in observed jurisdictions; however this was offset by increased used of semi-automatics and high-capacity magazines.
Proliferation of potent weaponry into lawless hands should be the main focus. Researchers from ATF and UC Davis estimate that only one in 6 of the guns used in crimes is stolen. Moreover, over 100 times as many people died in piecemeal gun violence as died in mass shootings last year,
So the greatest bang for the buck involves stopping the flow of weapons to criminals by managing the distribution channel; regulating selling at gun shows, closing unscrupulous dealers and strawman purchases, and effective registration.
G. Ansleigh proposes armed guards in schools, but that just diverts massacre-minded gunmen; we would need them at hospitals, cinemas, malls, sporting events, places of worship and on down to the logical limit; an updated version of the Wild West, every citizen packing a potent modern weapon, the chance of confrontation on everyone’s mind.
G. Ansleigh is welcome to think I am dumb, but his version of sanity seems to be a bizarre redefinition of the concept.
John Sisson, Newcastle