In the Jan. 12 Editor's Note column, "Newtown: There are myriad ways to fight back," you discussed a number of valid proposals. And I do agree with some of your suggestions.
Arming designated people with self-defense training capable of firing back is a good idea, though they need not be marshals or even law enforcement. How about expanding the base of civilians with concealed weapons permits? They have the training needed and the extensive background checks.
As for violence in entertainment and graphic TV news, exposing our young people to the violent entertainment, movies, video games and much of what is called music these days does have an effect. But all of that can be reduced with parental censorship. Also the parents as role models make a lot of difference.
The mentally ill is a bit of a stickier subject. It has been my experience that most professional psychologists are extremely left-leaning (i.e., anti-gun). Allowing them to make the decision on which of their patients should be allowed to own firearms is biased at best.
Strictly speaking, if one is a danger to himself or others, they shouldn't be allowed on the streets. I also know that isn't practical or right. But neither is punishing law-abiding citizens for the crimes of a few.
The Newtown shooter was mentally disturbed by all accounts I have seen, as was the shooter in Aurora. Both were on anti-psychotic drugs, as were almost all of the shooters involved in the recent shootings. Most broke several state and federal laws in the commission of their crimes.
Not one of the present gun laws would have stopped these people. The two biggest mass murders in U.S. history didn't involve the use of guns, i.e., Oklahoma City and 9/11.
Now, the explanation of how rifle-toting hillbillies could hold off tanks, Apache helicopters and rocket launchers, as you do not appear to have any military experience, nor truly pay attention to current events.
Wars in the last 50 years should give you a clue. Viet Nam, Afghanistan (once for the Russians and the indeterminate ending we are having now), Libya, and the ongoing conflicts in Israel and Syria, not to mention a multitude of conflicts in Africa and South America.
Tanks and helicopters have their weak points and can be taken out. They also must have crews to maintain, fuel and rearm them. Rocket launchers require people to supply and launch them. Need I say more?
You also make the assumption that the military and law enforcement personnel will side with the government in such a conflict. Most are true patriots and own weapons of their own. Most will not fight fellow Americans who are trying to uphold the Constitution. A good portion will side with a resistance in such a situation, taking all weapons and supplies possible with them.
You are making the same assumptions that the anti-gun crowd make, that people will just roll over and take it. Unfortunately you and they are mistaken.
Civilians need large-capacity magazines for the same reason law enforcement and military personnel need them. Just ask the Secret Service or the police why they need them. And by the way, they have access to fully automatic firearms.
Even if 3 percent of the gun owners with these "assault weapons" decide to resist them being taken from them (and they will), they will outnumber the police and military combined.
Now a question for you. With firearms-related crimes down 40 percent in the last 20 years and rifles with large-capacity magazines involved in less that 1 percent of those, how many Americans are you willing to see die for laws that will work marginally well at best?
Do some research instead of repeating what Biden, Feinstein and Schumer say. I suggest starting with the FBI crime stats.
Al Lammers is a Crescent City resident.