To the editor:
This is in response to your editorial of Oct. 27, concerning firearms, in which you correctly state the position of pro-gun lobbyists who recognize that an inanimate object is not inherently evil. The person who misuses the object should be held accountable for their actions. The statement which you consider silly, that guns don't kill people, people kill people, is nonetheless quite true. Until criminals are punished severely for violent crimes, violent crimes will continue to escalate.
Perhaps the reason why Congress is influenced so strongly by the gun lobbies is because the gun lobbies are made up of many hard-working, law-abiding citizens who recognize that the ultimate responsibility for self-defense rests with each individual. If the polls you quote were correct, would Congress disregard the opinions of 80 to 90 percent of their constituents? I think not.
There are not nearly enough law enforcement officers to protect society. Many career law enforcement officers, such as myself, strongly support the right of a law-abiding citizen to own and use firearms for any legitimate purpose.
Regarding your statement about nuclear bombs, there is no constitutional amendment which guarantees our right to own such devices. There is one which guarantees our rights to free speech, and to own firearms.
Responding to your statement about military-type firearms, any semi-automatic firearm is capable of rapid fire depending on how fast one squeezes the trigger. Semi-automatic firearms comprise a large portion of the firearms in use in America for many legitimate purposes, of which self-defense is one of the most important. The military-type label refers only to cosmetics.
Criminals will always have firearms. Have you considered that perhaps if several citizens had been legally armed inside the Killeen, Texas cafeteria that there might have been many fewer victims?
Charles L. Bloss Jr.,
P.O. Box 109, Lecompton.