PUBLIC FORUM; READERS PROVIDE AMMUNITION FOR BOTH SIDES ON BAN.
I will feel safer when the our leaders stop using guns and ammo as a political football in their game of greed. I will feel safer when severe penalties are administered when weapons are used in a crime.
I will feel safer when people, and especially children, are educated about guns. I will feel safer when the threat of government forcing honest, law-abiding business owners to give up their right of livelihood is abolished. I will feel safer when i don't have to drive all the way to Las Vegas to go to a decent gun show.
- Louis Radosevich
MORE THAN 150 KIDS were shot, 53 of whom died, in the City of Los Angeles in 1998. Bullets were flying everywhere, and many times it is us, the kids of L.A., who are the victims. Out of fear of being shot, we collected 7,000 signatures of kids asking our City Council to ban the sale of gun ammunition in our city.
We know that kids don't have a lot of rights, but don't we at least have the right to grow up without the fear of being shot? The legal purchase of guns in California was up by 64 percent in November when compared to November 1998. We support any new laws that will help save kids from being shot, especially the proposed ban on the sale of gun ammunition for the following reasons:
It has proven to be effective. In 1998, the lowest number of kids shot to death occurred during the months when there was a citywide ban on the sale of gun ammunition during New Year's Eve and the July Fourth holidays.
The ban is supported by Police Chief Bernard Parks and the L.A. Board of Police Commission, and is endorsed by Women Against Gun Violence and the Violence Prevention Coalition.
It will save the city millions of dollars and yet cost taxpayers nothing.
There is little use for ammunition in our densely populated city. Hunting is illegal within city limits, less than 15 percent of city residents reported being a victim of crime in 1998 and the majority of residents do not even own a gun.
- Niko and Theo Milonopoulos, 13
Co-Founders, Kidz Voice-LA
IT IS OBVIOUS that banning the sale of ammunition is a foolish and juvenile idea. After all, the City Council relied upon the sage advice of sixth-graders for the basis of the ordinance. But what does one expect from the same hacks who could not let a sleeping garbage dump lie.
- Anthony Canales
LAWS RESTRICTING private ownership of firearms and are ill-advised and dangerous. Indeed, the vast majority of anti-gun laws already on the books are harmful and should be repealed. Let's start by allowing peaceful citizens to carry firearms, openly or concealed, for their own protection.
The Constitution of the United States guarantees the individual right to keep (own) and bear (carry) arms. We cannot depend on the police to defend us against all harm. It is imperative that we, as citizens, take responsibility for our own safety.
The California Rifle and Pistol Association has a saying: ``Society is safer when criminals don't know who is armed.'' They have a good point. Criminals fear armed citizens.
If we, as citizens, fail to take responsibility for our own protection we will end up living in a police state. Guard well your freedoms; once they are gone, they're hell to get back.
- Christopher Maira
SEVERAL OF PUBLIC FORUM'S recent letters have decried the people's elected representatives depriving our ``law-abiding citizens'' of their right to bear arms. I assume that these concerns also apply to law-abiding noncitizens.
However, on reading these letters, the following question occurs to me - How long (a split second?) would it take for one of these law-abiding citizens (or noncitizens), in the heat of anger, to transform into a non-law-abiding citizen? Such a mistake would be extremely difficult to rectify.
- Louis Robins
THESE PROPOSALS to ban ammunition sales will not stop one criminal, and show that, in fact, gun control is directed against the common citizen, as it is he who will be affected. Crime is stopped by things like the Three Strikes law, and the deportation of criminal aliens. These have brought crime down, not gun laws directed against the public.
What's next? Knife registration, as is now proposed in Great Britain?
The police are corrupt. It is up to the common man and woman to protect themselves. You can hardly trust cops who frame and murder innocent people to do this.
- Christopher Keller
I AM THE MOTHER of a child who attends the North Valley Jewish Community Center where recently a crazed gunman opened fire on innocent children, staff and members and later went on to kill a postal worker.
How can people think that we don't need gun control when guns are the No. 1 killer of our nation's children? We are living proof that ``no gun control'' is an infringement of our right to life. We cannot afford to wait a minute longer. All this shooting is a wake-up call to Americans to get serious about gun control.
- Karen Frazin
I AM NOT A NATIVE of this great nation, but an immigrant that had to earn his citizenship. I am currently serving in the USMC and for the last 19-plus years I have dedicated my life to our country.
I was hoping to retire in a nation that was just as free as when I joined at the age of 17, but as time passed I have seen more and more of our individual rights eroded away as the press and over-zealous politically correct politicians legislate against the law-abiding citizen.
When was the last time that the book was thrown at a convicted criminal for using a gun while committing a crime? I'm not saying that everyone should own weapons of mass destruction, but small arms are not that dangerous. A required safety course with owner licensing such as we have for cars is not too far out of line. Maybe when we have some more of our rights taken away, the citizens of this country will realize how good they have it here.
- Gunnery Sgt. Tien C. Nguyen
I AM SO GLAD to see that the semi-automatic rifle is now illegal to sell in California. It should be that way throughout the United States. Since we Americans have ``the right to bear arms,'' the state will not be able to collect all guns.
I cannot understand why an individual needs a semi-automatic rifle other than for killing. This killing machine is used in the military and is not for home use. Many people have said ``I need a gun for protection.'' Do they need a semi-automatic weapon for this purpose? Please tell me why. I don't understand. I would not have any guns in my home.
- Barbara Evans
THE NEW CALIFORNIA gun laws and proposed banning of ammunition sales in Los Angeles will probably increase gun crime rather than reduce it.
Most gun-related crime is committed largely by a bunch of cowardly gangbanging punks, hardened career criminals and a few lunatics. These skuzballs do not care one hoot about laws, old or new. I have yet to see a gangster buy anything at my favorite gun shop. In fact, a gun shop is probably the safest business to frequent. Ironic, isn't it?
But it makes an important point. Guns in the hands of trained and honest people have been proven to deter crime. We need to support legal gun ownership, not discourage it. The new laws will only embolden criminals with the knowledge that honest citizens are further thwarted in their right to arm themselves.
- Bill Hamburg
IT IS MY UNDERSTANDING that the L.A. Police Commission will be voting on Jan. 10 regarding the sale of live ammunition in Los Angeles. I think this is a wonderful idea for our community and could be an idea that would spread throughout the country.
We have such a problem with the number of guns that are out there in our neighborhoods and if the access to ammunition could be hampered, perhaps impulsive shootings could be reduced.
- Sharon Loeschen
THE NEW GUN CONTROL laws, proposed and adopted, have nothing to do with crime control. They have to do with the fact that in this country we are in a cultural war between liberalism and traditional American values.
Liberals despise the ``gun culture,'' as it epitomizes standards of individuality and personal responsibility that are diametrically opposed to the liberals' goal of a nanny-state Big Government. We've also seen this in the war on tobacco and we're starting to see it in the demonization of sport utility vehicles. Personal liberty is sacrificed on the altar of the common good. The Founding Fathers must be spinning in their graves.
If the goal were truly to reduce violent crime, we should have laws mandating the issuance of concealed carry permits to law-abiding applicants, as the experience of 31 states has shown that this is the single most effective deterrent to violent crime. However, the gun control lobby has never let facts interfere with their efforts to eliminate private firearms ownership. And I don't see any sign of that changing anytime soon.
- Brian Baker
ON JAN. 1, NEW gun control laws, championed by the Democrats, finally went into effect. This is great news. The Democrats have promised us that these new laws are what is needed to stop violence. No longer do we need to fear guns or violence. The Democrats have told us that guns are the reason for killings and violence. Peace is on the streets of America at long last.
Also, no longer will guns be a political issue. Politicians can now run on the major issues of: education, children, Social Security, health and taxes. With the Democrats finally passing that magical law, we can move forward. We can now all feel safer in our homes and our streets. Thank you Democrats, you have performed up to your level of performance.
- Francis Jansen
IT SEEMS THAT gun enthusiasts get so fired up about their Second Amendment rights that they will defend this right to the death - your death.
- Rick Kellis
LET ME SEE if I understand: The City of Los Angeles wants to ban ammunition and gun sales, to make us safer. The last time I checked, the only people who are armed (on the street) are the criminals and the police. So, whom would these bans apply to? Cops are exempt, and criminals (by definition) will break the law to get guns and ammo. So the only people actually affected are folks like me who are forced to cower in our homes, hoping that we are not the next victims. Sounds like Utopia to me.
Perhaps a better solution is for us to stop sniveling and use our legally owned guns to protect us, as God and the Founding Fathers intended. Criminals are not stupid. If a few get injured ``on the job,'' they'll find a less risky way to ``earn a living.'' As Thomas Paine said more than 200 years ago, ``Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.''
- Edward D. Thiele
NRA Members' Council
THE CONSTITUTION is under attack. This is allowed because of the First Amendment. It is argued that the First Amendment was placed in that position because it is the most important to protecting our liberty.
If the Founding Fathers felt freedom of speech should be first because it is the most important freedom, then by placing the ``Right to Bear Arms'' second, it is the second most important.
The answer to criminal behavior is to put criminals in jail. One of the few national organizations to spend money to ensure criminals are put in jail and stay there is the National Rifle Association (NRA.) We should support the Constitution and the NRA.
- James J. Menotti
THE MANTRA OF the anti-gun control wing is ``only criminals will have guns.'' Well, the first time a law-abiding citizen unlawfully uses his gun, he becomes criminal - to murder his ailing wife, shoot a burglary suspect, shoot rounds in the air on New Year's Eve, wave his gun at kids in the street or at noisy neighbors. There are so many guns that a significant percentage of gun-related crimes are committed by ``law- abiding citizens.'' Do gun owners really fear the rise of Nazism or Fascism?
If so, it's time to move to a country of more sanity. Besides, what good is your personal arsenal of weapons against a military or police takeover?
For personal protection, fine - have a handgun in your home. It could come in handy if some thief crawls in your window while you are watching TV with your weapon in your lap. Chances are considerably higher that your guns would be stolen far more often than you would ever use them lawfully for self-protection.
- Sol Taylor
Cartoon: CHOOSE THE MOST LETHAL WEAPON (drawings of a revolver and a human brain)
Summers/The Orlando Sentinel