Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, is telling us that no new gun legislation is needed — that, instead, we should "enforce the laws already on the books."
OK. Here's how we folks in the Roanoke Valley can help with this.
Our 11-term congressman, Rep.Bob Goodlatte, is now the powerful chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He oversees the Department of Justice, and thus its Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Tell Goodlatte that we want him to ensure that the ATF has the funding, staffing, leadership and support it needs to enforce our existing laws and keep our citizens safe.
C. ROBERT DICKERMAN
No reason to allow Sunday hunting
Re: Jerry Frawley's op-ed on the hunting ban ("No logic in continuing Sunday hunting ban," Jan. 21):
First, non-hunters know that Sunday rifle shots do not mean hunting in the area.
Second, the Centers for Disease Control's "facts" on Lyme disease run counter to those of researchers of a serious and growing disease. Deer carry the black-legged tick, whose nymphs transmit the disease to humans. But white-footed mice pass them to deer, who pass them to humans.
Third, the ecosystem needs predators. Coyotes eat rodents, reducing the tick carrier populations. I have never heard of them attacking humans, unless rabid. We need to learn to live with them. Most wildlife biologists agree coyotes are here to stay. Research shows that when reduced by killing, they will rebound through larger litters.
Fourth, while hunting reduces the deer overpopulation, it is not fair that hunters should have exclusive rights to the forests for 12 weeks of the best weather for hiking, riding and birding. The outdoors should be shared.
With the warming climate, non-hunters do not have 52 weeks a year to get outside. At a humid 90degrees-plus, few people are able to hike and ride.
Why not increase the allowable take, harvest more does and fund research on contraceptive measures?
Birth control advocates should pay for access
Re: Virginia Cox's letter about free birth control ("Become advocates for free birth control," Jan. 31):
She wrote, "I wish for all pro-lifers to take it upon themselves to try to adopt as many unwanted babies as possible, to put them in homes where they are nourished and given a chance to take on the world, or at least a shot at it."
This has to do with government red tape and the high cost, nothing at all with wanting to adopt.
Let me put this short and sweet and on the other foot.
Let her and all pro-choicers make out a check every month for, let's say, $250 to a free birth control fund.
Don't deride efforts against mass murder
Re: "A doctor's thoughts on guns; how lovely," Jan. 20 letter:
I have to wonder how David Johnson knew Dr. Rolf Koehler ("A simple system of gun control," Dec. 31 letter) well enough to call him an elitist, but I am sure that Koehler would not take offense at being called a "choice member of society," according to Daniel Webster.
It is too bad Johnson cannot include himself in that category. I hope he will inform himself about the statistics of mass murders in countries where guns are controlled as compared to the U.S.
My son was in the building next to Burruss Hall during the Virginia Tech shootings. He stood in lock-down at the door and watched as his friends and associates were pulled from that building. The names of several are now on stone monuments at Tech.
I hope Johnson steps forward to share part of the blame if there is another mass murder and no gun control measures are enacted thanks to people who make fun of reasonable suggestions for gun control that work in other countries.
Think about the little children also when commenting about those who would make an effort to stop these acts.
Assault weapon, or high-powered rifle?
In a Jan. 24 Roanoke Times story headlined "High-powered rifles to be given to school officers," I read:
"Fontana [Calif.] Unified School District police purchased 14 of the Colt LE6940 rifles in the fall, and they were delivered the first week of December, a week before a gunman killed 26 children and students at a Connecticut elementary school.
"'I think it just further solidified the need to give our officers the tools they need to respond to an active shooter on campus,' schools Police Chief Billy Green said Wednesday about the tragedy."
Good for Chief Green and Fontana Unified.
However, I find it interesting that the press appears to play the word game to the advantage of one particular point of view. If law enforcement owns the Colt, it's a "high-powered rifle"; however, should I own one of the identical Colts in the semi-automatic variety, it's an "assault weapon."