Letters, Dec. 28

Dec. 27, 2012 @ 07:48 PM

Too much misinformation on guns

The recent shooting in Connecticut has renewed the ongoing discussion of guns. There is a lot of misinformation being propagated, and this is not helpful to a productive discussion.

The weapon used in the shooting, as well as those used in previous shootings, was not a military-grade automatic weapon. Automatic weapons (such as machine guns) continuously fire as long as the trigger is pulled. The gun used was an auto-loading rifle, requiring a trigger pull for each shot. It is fundamentally the same as commonly used pistols and hunting rifles.

In addition, the Firearms Act of 1934 tightly regulates true military-grade weapons such as machine guns. The so-called assault weapons ban defined a classification based on certain features that make weapons look dangerous, such as a folding stock, flash suppressor or pistol grip. None of these features make a weapon more dangerous, nor would the ban have affected the weapon used. The availability of high-capacity magazines is the only aspect of this weapon that might rationally be discussed for further regulation.

However, the problem is much broader than guns per se. Issues such as mental health reform and enforcement of existing laws should be a part of any rational and productive discussion.

Prayson Pate
Durham

 

A believer in voter ID

Just a comment – or two – regarding Vicki Boyer’s letter of Dec. 22.

I support the concept that every citizen has not only the right and privilege but also the responsibility to vote in an informed manner -- not only in their own interest but in the best interest of their country and fellow citizens. I’ve voted for well more than 60 years and paid taxes for even more – every year – without exception. I voted and paid taxes even when serving in the U.S. military – from far-away places.

Do I believe in voter ID? You bet! Why? I want every vote cast to be absolutely legitimate. No question. I originally hail from Chicago where even the dead vote – sometimes more than once! I want anyone and everyone who casts a ballot to be a tax-paying citizen just like me. I do resent any person, representing a non-entity, paying no taxes, but willingly voting for some politician eager to raise mine. Not fair by any stretch of the imagination.

Voter ID doesn’t mean you must have government consent. Proper ID means you must have my consent and every other participating voter. It’s ridiculous to say government would be in charge of voters if they must produce ID. It’s like saying no one should need an ID to cash a check or hop a plane or drive a car. It’s a rather dark world and bad stuff really happens. Producing ID to cast a precious vote is little of nothing.

Ernie Wendell
Durham

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