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Opinion

How to beat the gun lobby: Match every dollar donated by the NRA

To the editor: The expression of outrage over the slaughter of at least 59 innocent people in Las Vegas sounds like a broken record. The Los Angeles Times’ editorial points the finger at National Rifle Assn.’s enormous influence. (“The slaughter in Las Vegas is all too familiar, yet Americans refuse to stop it,” editorial, Oct. 2)

I have a simple proposal to counter that influence: Those who oppose the NRA’s lobbying should offer to match that group’s contribution to any politician’s campaign on the condition that the candidate support gun-control legislation. I am confident that many millionaires and billionaires would donate to the cause.

Most of the politicians who depend on campaign contributions from the gun lobby should have the courage and conviction to do what is best for the country. No other civilized country in the world loses so many of its citizens to senseless shootings.

If money talks in democracy, then two can play this game. Simply expressing outrage over inaction in Congress is not going to make any difference.

Vijay Jeste, Redondo Beach

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To the editor: If only the guy on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel had used a silencer, nobody would have heard him. He could have shot many more people and perhaps made his escape undetected. He might have been a free man today. Instead, he’s dead.

We need public access to silencers. And low-yield nuclear weapons, especially for those moments when you’re more than just irritated.

If all those concertgoers had each carried their own submachine gun, they could have laid down withering return fire that would have taken out every window of the Mandalay Bay hotel. To paraphrase Barry Goldwater, “Collateral damage in defense of the 2nd Amendment is no vice.”

As a country I think we’ve already traveled most of the way to the loony bin. Now, somebody has to make it to 60, so stay low.

Bruce Strathdee, Palm Desert

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To the editor: Hillary Clinton called out the NRA for opposing restrictions on silencers. MSNBC host Rachel Maddow pointed out that fully automatic assault rifles are legal. Liberal politicians quickly called for stricter gun controls.

Silencers are irrelevant to this tragedy. It has been illegal to manufacture fully automatic assault rifles since 1986. I doubt the Las Vegas shooter went to the considerable expense and hassle to obtain legal assault rifles. Gun control laws would not reduce the illegal weapons trade and have certainly not reduced gun violence in the major cities where they are in place.

Let’s have a discussion about sensible solutions and not knee-jerk, ineffective grandstanding. The detestable killer owned numerous legally acquired weapons. He brought an arsenal into a hotel undetected. I would not be surprised to learn that he suffered from mental health issues.

Connect the dots and take appropriate action.

Hal Bookbinder, Oak Park

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To the editor: Nothing changed after those innocent children in Connecticut were mowed down at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. Nothing changed after the massacre in San Bernardino, which erupted while the victims were enjoying an office holiday party. Nothing changed after all those people who were out for a fun Saturday night at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando were butchered.

And now a new record has been set for the number of people killed in a single mass shooting. This time, it’s concertgoers in a city that stakes its reputation on visitors being able to leave reality behind to enjoy a little fun and fantasy.

It sickens me to say this, but nothing will change this time either.

Jay Soloway, Pasadena

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