Letters for May 3, 2007

We the readers do love our guns
Re: “The cost of loving guns” (Editorial, CN&R, April 26):

Last week’s editorial blurb advocating a confiscatory British-style position on handguns is flawed.

First, it assumes stricter laws on legal gun ownership would automatically translate into reduced gun violence. How? By removing from law-abiding citizens the means to defend themselves, relying upon the police who arrive only after crimes have already been committed? Would residents of New Orleans, post-Katrina, have been better off disarmed and left to the mercy of roving criminal gangs after the police force fled the scene? In the Virginia Tech case, had the law prohibiting mentally disturbed people from purchasing firearms been enforced, the shooter wouldn’t have had his guns in the first place.

Second, if you oppose abridging free speech and privacy, unreasonable searches and seizures, violations of legal due process, indentured servitude, voting restrictions, etc., why would you want to weaken and/or remove the means of the people to defend their rights if the government attempted to abrogate them? The Second Amendment clearly states “The People,” not just the police and military, have the right to keep and bear arms and this cannot be “infringed” per, say, British or Japanese laws.

So here’s my proposal for those of you supporting draconian gun restrictions and/or confiscation: Drop the “reasonable, sensible gun laws” rhetoric. Give the trial lawyers a break from additional class-action lawsuits against gun manufacturers. Simply advocate for the repeal of the Second Amendment itself. If you want to create open, honest and sustained debate on this issue, that’s the best means to do it.

H.C. Jamieson

I must say that I wholeheartedly disagree [with the editorial]. The article stated that we as Americans love our guns and will not give them up, and that is why the shooting at Virginia Tech and similar incidents happen. It also stated that we need tighter gun control. I believe the contrary. I believe that we as Americans fear guns and have already regulated too much, and that is why things like this happen.

I believe that gun respect should be taught at an early age and gun safety should be taught in public schools. I believe that people should have the choice of carrying a gun if they want to (we are a free nation, right?). If we outlawed guns today and took them away from everyone except law enforcement and military personnel, the creeps and wingnuts who really shouldn’t have guns still will have guns and they will always be able to get guns; the only difference would be that law abiding responsible citizens who should be able to have a gun won’t, but again the creeps will.

As I understand it, guns are not allowed on the campus of Virginia Tech. I think that if they were allowed, if some of the people who were killed would have had a gun at their side, then some may have still died at the hands of that psycho, but 30 would not have.

Crystal Serene

You buried the truth toward the end when you stated that “statistically, Americans don’t want British-style gun control.” That’s exactly right. Just Google “British gun control laws” and you can read hundreds of articles on the subject.

The stories you hear about the great gun-free Britain come from people in America who wish it were true. The same thing has happened in Australia. Both countries’ bans go far past handguns and have effectively disarmed everyone except rich bird hunters and criminals who don’t have to be afraid someone might shoot back.

I read your last sentence ("A significant percentage of voters would rather have an undetermined number of citizens die from gunshot wounds each year than put reasonable controls on gun ownership") to mean most people know life can be dangerous and they don’t want any more restrictions put on their right to self-defense. This is a tradition handed down to us from the British, who are finding out what it’s like when you abandon fundamental rights. Not to mention we already have plenty of reasonable (and some not so reasonable) controls on gun ownership.

It’s pointless to say that if someone else had had a gun at Virginia Tech maybe they might have saved some lives. You’ll be drowned out by laughter from people who don’t expect they’ll ever be put in the same position. In fairness, maybe I missed the story about how the police are always there to save everybody from everything all the time.

Like the fat man [Ben Franklin] said, when you hand over your freedom to the government in exchange for security, you get neither.

Aaron Standish

Your article on the cost of loving guns is a very weak attempt at painting guns as evil. Why don’t you talk about all the people’s lives who were saved because of guns?

Why don’t you talk about the deaths from vehicles? More people die each year from vehicle accidents than guns. Does anyone really need a vehicle? Thousands of people die in swimming pool accidents each year. Does anyone really need a swimming pool?

If you really want to save lives, we should be banning swimming pools and vehicles. America is free because of the gun, and it is the only way to keep it that way.

Donovan Gilbert

Surrender drug war
Re: “Drug warriors tote up the score” (Newslines, by Robert Speer, CN&R, April 26):

After 93 straight years of failure, it’s time to stop pretending that drug prohibition accomplishes anything positive. Hypocritical drug-war thinking has made drug crimes and accidental drug overdoses commonplace where they never existed before. Drug prohibition cannot cure these problems because it causes them.

Proof comes from the Swiss Heroin Maintenance Programme, where addicts are supplied with cheap, pure heroin and cocaine. The Swiss have not had a single overdose death in the program, and injection-transmitted diseases (HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, etc) are now a rarity in Switzerland. The criminal drug black market has vanished; addict crime has gone down more than 97 percent. Swiss policy has also resulted in an 82 percent decrease in heroin addiction since 1990.

Anyone truly concerned about the victims of drugs will work to end an immoral drug crusade that murders more than 30,000 people every year and spawns a multitude of criminal activities.

Redford Givens
San Francisco

After all the government says about cannabis (marijuana, “the devil weed"), how do citizens and youth know the government is telling the truth about methamphetamine?

According to the U.S. government, cannabis is the biggest problem in North America. Just ask the U.S. drug czar. Today’s pot is more like cocaine, causing cancer and all. Cannabis is a Schedule I substance, while meth is only a Schedule II substance; so meth must not be a big deal, right?

What’s the truth?

The truth is—because of contempt due to the government- and media-led, evil, discredited, anti-Christian cannabis persecution and prohibition—citizens are not paying attention to anti-drug messages.

Stan White
Dillon, Colo.

9/11 case in point?
For all those who cling to the alternate fantasy belief that the WTC towers could not have been brought down by burning jet fuel creating an inferno that melted steel, but rather, it was explosives planted by some conspiracy, the collapse of the I-880/580 interchange in Oakland from a burning tanker truck should provide clear empirical proof that fire can easily take down steel and concrete structures.

Engineers estimated that the flames at the bridge reached close to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Steel is known to lose half of its rigidity at 1,000 degrees F and begins to melt at 2,750 degrees F.

People may conjecture myriad alternate theories, but the laws of physics are absolute.

Anthony Watts

Editor’s note: For more on the 9/11 discussion, please see “Truth believers.”

Kudos, sir!
Re: From The Edge column by Anthony Peyton Porter:

Mr. Porter, whenever I pick up a copy of the CN&R, the first place I go is to the back to look for, and read, your article. I am always disappointed whenever it’s not there. That said, a writer of your quality should not be relegated to the back pages, but to the front.

In fact, I think you have a Pulitzer-quality novel or two in you, and wish you would get to it. I would certainly buy your books. Do you have an agent? If not, get one. While CN&R is a nice enough publication (and getting better all the time), I see you also writing for a larger publication, one with nationwide distribution.

Anyway, I just wanted you to know how much I truly enjoy your writing. Whether the subject is a wayward friend, an ex-wife, or political matters, you have a very unique and enjoyable style. Please give your fans something more to enjoy (your adult readers, that is!). We will reward you for it!

Terry Bass
Red Bluff

Editor’s note: See From the edge for Porter’s latest piece and In My Eyes for news about his column.

‘New patriotism’
Re: “Sustainability flies high in Chico” (GreenWays, by Melissa Daugherty, CN&R, April 19):

Walking out on Earth Day morning, I was thrilled to see the beautiful image of our planet flying on banners all over town. It gave me hope for the future, hope that our prayers may yet be answered, that we are finally getting our priorities straight.

In this age of global warming, we citizens of earth are starting to give our first allegiance to the planet we all share. This is the new patriotism.

Thanks to Andy Keller of ChicoBag, the City Council and all those who worked to bring about this celebration of love for our home.

Naomi Davis

Re: “Anesthesia docs: We’re new and improved” (Newslines, CN&R, April 26): A section listing the members of Northstate Anesthesia Partners may have conveyed unintended implications about two of the doctors. Roger Phillips joins NAP with the same standing as Diane Gill and Barry Johnson—all former colleagues with Anesthesia Associates of Chico. And when Enloe Medical Center contracted with Medcorp for anesthesiology services, A. Duane Menefee—as medical director—led the group of physicians without an ownership stake.