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Readers React: The NRA’s belief that more guns make a safer society is insanity

To the editor: As a separate article by columnist George Skelton points out, the U.S. has “4.5% of the world’s population but 41.5% of its civilian-owned firearms.” At the same time, we’re seeing the use of lethal force by our police officers rightly coming under intense public scrutiny; and these are arguably the most responsible, highly trained and thoroughly screened bearers of arms.

The idea of putting more guns in the hands of more people as a strategy to combat the carnage wrought by firearms seems like the very definition of madness. Like children acting out a scene from a TV western, it’s easy to imagine scenarios where having a gun can save the day; but in the real world having more guns only escalates the level of violence, as statistics bear out all too clearly.

There is something terribly wrong when we allow any Tom, Dick or Harry to possess weapons of mass destruction as a self-proclaimed militia.

Brian Bennett, La Verne

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To the editor: The National Rifle Assn. is not the villain in mass shootings. Blaming it would be like blaming AAA for drunk drivers who kill or for uninsured drivers even when the law requires everyone to be covered.

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AAA represents lawful car owners, and the NRA advocates on behalf of lawful gun owners. How can either be blamed when someone breaks the law to kill?

Andrew Ko, San Marino

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To the editor: According to NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

Well, let’s see now: You’re having dinner with your family when someone breaks in, you’re jogging when someone jumps out of the bushes, you are doing Pilates exercises when someone breaks in, you’re having dinner with some friends when someone breaks in, you are driving down the road when someone pulls alongside you, you are swimming in your backyard when someone shoots you — should I continue?

You can’t have your finger on the trigger every minute of every day. Just ask the nine people killed while at church in Charleston, S.C., or the two Las Vegas cops who were shot and killed while eating lunch.

Charles P. Martin, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Immediately upon the sad destruction caused by the radical Islamic terrorists in San Bernardino, the gun control supporters started singing their usual chorus. So I ask them:

When a drunk driver kills innocent people, is the driver at fault or is the car? When bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon, was it the fault of the pressure cookers that contained them or of the bombers?

I think everyone would agree that it’s the drunk driver and the bomber’s fault. So why is it always the gun’s fault?

Dennis Katz, Pacific Palisades

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To the editor: As the debate continues on whether more people should be armed, let’s remember one thing:

The NRA’s mission, as a trade group for gun manufacturers, is to sell more guns. That’s the goal, and it’s why gun manufacturers have continued to fund its successful operation, so much so that they could pay spokesperson LaPierre nearly $1 million annually.

Keep that in mind when you weigh the NRA’s argument. It sure smells like someone is getting played.

Jim Hughes, Los Angeles


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