NRA’s power shows most Americans favor gun rights

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In reading Richard McFarland’s letter saying it’s wrong to believe an armed citizen could have stopped the shooter at Newtown, I have to ask how else could he have been stopped?

Surely any rational person would agree that it’s more effective to confront a mentally ill armed person intent on shooting innocent people with an armed sane person intent on protecting them. He does say that tougher laws are the answer but he doesn’t explain what these laws would be.

With over 200 million registered guns listed as assault weapons, each with multiple high capacity magazines, what law will keep them out of the wrong hands and how will this law be enforced?

Now, before you answer this I ask that you look at it from another angle. The one commonality with these shooters is they were all reported as mentally ill yet nothing was done to get them the help they needed. It seems that incidents have increased as our mental health care accessibility has decreased.

One fact that can’t be ignored is these weapons have been around for many decades, yet the targeting of innocent people have occurred relatively recently. The major change has been the neglect of our mental health care system. So, instead of looking at this as a gun control problem shouldn’t we be looking at it as a mental-health care problem? Wouldn’t it be much easier to help stop these shootings by getting the mentally ill the help they need rather than passing more laws that will only affect the law abiding citizens?

As for Jim Graham’s letter asking why anyone would need assault weapons, I say as long as they are not felons or have not indicated plans to commit crimes, why not?

Telling law-abiding people they should not have this right because we do not understand or agree with their need is the same as telling some religions they do not have the right to worship for the same reasons. So, the question is, do we have the right to restrict others rights, regardless of what they may be, just because we don’t understand or agree with them?

As for Annie Capestany’s rather biased and misinformed letter that older white men keep the gun industry in business, I would like to remind her that of the nearly 90 million registered gun owners in this country, when you take into account the percentages of each ethnicity you would find that there is an equal number of gun ownership.

The reason the NRA has such a powerful lobby is because most Americans want to maintain our constitutional right to bear arms shall not be infringed. If this were not true the NRA would not have this power.

Robert Day

Walla Walla

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