Letters to the Editor

Gun dangers

January 17, 2008


To the editor:

Was it just one of those strange coincidences that fill the pages of history? On the same day (Monday) that the Journal-World leads with a headline "Community Building houses firing range," which described how easy it is to buy and license a handgun in Kansas, PBS ran a special on all the various conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy ("Oswald's Ghost").

It doesn't take a prophet to predict that as this political season becomes ever more fraught with rhetoric, some loon, longing for his/her 15 minutes of fame and thanks to a system where buying a handgun is practically unrestricted, will decide to cast his/her ballot as a bullet.

Ray Finch,



andrew55 10 years, 3 months ago

The Constitution ... 2nd Amendment ... right to bear arms...gun laws will not stop a person determined to use one to commit a crime...why is it necessary to pay the State a fee for a right we have under above-mentioned Amendment? I exercise my 2nd Amendment rights daily...I don't leave home w/o it....But then again, I live in Memphis, TN.

number3of5 10 years, 3 months ago

A gun is not dangerous. I could lay one on my kitchen table and it would not harm a thing, even if it lay there for over 100 years. It is instead the person behind the gun that is the danger. A criminal who wants a gun will find a way to get one. My father used the adage "a locked door only keeps an honest man honest". Apply this to aquiring a gun, all of our laws only affect the honest people. However, I do agree that the more people who have guns increases the possiblilty that there will be more incidents, because some will use them simply because they can.

gabbo 10 years, 3 months ago

Atticus: Apples and Orangutans. Seriously.

BigAl 10 years, 3 months ago

I see the far-right is still paranoid.

tufoak 10 years, 3 months ago

wtf ray do u even know how to read..... 3day waiting period.... reg. for ccw 150 bucks 8 hours and a test plus many background checks. what more do u want?....................................oh yeah i know your old hippy butt wants the only the bad guy to have guns while we sit here and take it with no way to protect ourselfs, or for recreation. did u know that kansas hunter and fisherman (same people) spend over $600 million a year in the state creating jobs busting the eco. and more..........................................all i have to say is u and the rest America can have my guns when u pry them from my cold dead hands

Frederic Gutknecht IV 10 years, 3 months ago

You're right, Ray. It doesn't take a prophet. It takes a village..._!~)

oldvet 10 years, 3 months ago

Be sure to add, tufoak, the $100+/- you will have to pay to take the required course for the CCW... at least, I had to pay, as the guys teaching the course weren't doing it for free...

just_another_ninja 10 years, 3 months ago

There's certainly more than one type of gun. Each having it's own purpose based on build and design. Regardless of the distinguishing capabilities of guns, the fact is, they remain a tool. Every tool requires a task. Every task requires an object to support is as well as a person or thing to create it and see it through to its completion.

If we look at the system of purchasing a gun and/or qualifying and paying for a CCH license, the simple fact is just as someone else stated -- "The laws are to keep the honest person honest." You can't "purchase" a gun or a CCH license without first being approved with a limited background/history check on your record, therefore, being an "honest" person.

Now think about that process for a moment and then look at the rare cases where individuals have done horrible things with guns and/or other weapons. Again, it starts with the person and the tasks they create for themselves. If the task calls for a gun, that's their decision.

Could we be looking at an interesting election this year? Certainly. Is right_thinker out of his/her mind. Absolutely.

OnlyTheOne 10 years, 3 months ago

What in Pete's sake do Oswald and handguns have in common?

jafs 10 years, 3 months ago

If the facts were reported correctly, the Virginia Tech shooter obtained a gun even though he shouldn't have been able to do so.

There seem to be a number of loopholes in existing legislation - gun shows, etc. - which allow people to buy guns without going through the requisite "limited" background check.

The purpose of the second amendment, as I read it, was to ensure that our nation could have a "well-regulated militia", most likely in order to defend the nation from attack. This is a very different thing than large numbers of people walking around with guns just because they feel like it.

jafs 10 years, 3 months ago

The shooter at Virginia Tech had a history of mental problems which should have prevented his legal purchase of a gun, according to newspaper articles.

Similarly, I have read that gun shows allow people to buy guns in an easier manner, without going through the same process as elsewhere.

"A well-regulated militia being essential to the defense of a free nation" is the beginning of the second amendment.

If the reporting was inaccurate regarding the VT incident, please provide a source for that contention.

Similarly, explain how gun shows require people to go through the same processes.

And, finally, explain how a bunch of people wandering around with concealed weapons is the same thing as a "well-regulated militia", and what connection that has to the "defense of a free nation".

It's not enough to simply state that I am wrong.

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 3 months ago

Ray, if "practically unrestricted" sales of handguns are the reason for the violence in this country, then why does the US rank 24th in complete world violence, behind countries that have more restrictive firearm laws?


As with most issues, there is more to the whole story.
Violent people cause the violence, not the instrument they use.

50YearResident 10 years, 3 months ago

jafs, Gun shows in Kansas require the same background checks as when purchasing through a retail gun store. So it is "not" easier to purchase a gun from a gun show.

RonaldWilson 10 years, 3 months ago

The second amendment is not about just defending the country from foreign invaders. It is much more about diposing corrupt tyrants and politicians that attempt to totalize their power. This is what concerned the framers, as the had just tossed off the shackles of a king that sought to restrict their freedom and tax them into poverty. The second amendment is the ultimate check to keep our government honest. Pure and simple, there is no other reason they included it.

Haiku_Cuckoo 10 years, 3 months ago

I'm with Finchy on this one. Stories about guns shouldn't be printed. If we don't read stories about guns, the senseless shootings will go away. What's to prevent Lee Harvey Oswald's ghost from coming back and causing a scene?

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 3 months ago

JJE007 (Anonymous) says: Tool: anxiousatheist

LOL jj....

Tony Kisner 10 years, 3 months ago

Not sure an assassin would be too concerned about carrying a concealed weapon with out a permit.

hottruckinmama 10 years, 3 months ago

Oswald used a rifle to shoot Kennedy didn't he? He had to wrap it up and say it was curtain rods for his room I have read. So to get from that to a handgun seems like a pretty big leap to me.

tufoak 10 years, 3 months ago

here is a little more for my rant: If GUNS KILL PEOPLE THEN: PENS miss spell words CARS kill people: AND SPOONS MADE ROSIE O'DONALD FAT;


Frederic Gutknecht IV 10 years, 3 months ago

I'm somewhat ashamed that I just couldn't resist the "Tool" comeback, anxiousatheist!~) Of course, we're all tools in our own special ways.

Re: tools - Do remember that the most infinitesimally small percentage of handguns are actually used for killing y'r fellow 'mericans. Probably about 99.99sumthinrother% of handgun bullets fired in this country are aimed at targets:For FUN! If it's not fun, you're not doing it right.

Are you really worried that you'll be shot by a lawful, concealed carry permit holder? Do you know how many times that's happened in the 48 states that allow some form of concealed carry?

I just love how we fear each other for no reason. You fear me because I might be carrying a gun. I fear you because you're silly enough to fear me because I might be carrying a gun. I don't carry a personal defense firearm, btw, but I do wish for us all to maintain that right.

beatrice 10 years, 3 months ago

Drake, if a hammer was as potentially dangerous and deadly as a gun, wouldn't we ask our capenters to serve in the police department? How many Presidents have been assasinated with hammers? If someone wanted to kill you, would you prefer they come at you with a hammer, or a gun? How many Columbine-type mass killings have there been by hammer? I think you get the point.

That said, this letter is just annoying, since the truth of it is that such a terrible thing could happen at any time, including to those currently in office. We can just hope that it doesn't, and make sure to take protective action against potential lunatics with guns ... or hammers.

pace 10 years, 3 months ago

yeah, guns don't kill people, so we should let anyone who wants one have one. The felons, the criminals, the young, the untrained.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 10 years, 3 months ago

I think you're missing the point, pace...like by a mile!~) People kill people. Remember that part?~)

All the kings horses and all the kings men, can't put Humpty Dumpty together again...or disarm the bad egg.

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 10 years, 3 months ago

Lee Harvey Oswald was killed with a handgun by Jack Ruby. That is the link to handguns. I was living in Dallas at the time of the occurrence. Thank you, Lynn

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 10 years, 3 months ago

P.S, You do not have to justify or explain your reason(s) for owning guns. Let the liberals whine. Thank you, Lynn

Krakatau 10 years, 3 months ago

I have a Right to carry a firearm if I so choose. Many of you complain about this, but when your life is threatened and/or you feel someone's hands around your neck squeezing the life out of you and the only way you can compete is with a firearm...I am sure you might reconsider. I know I did.

Who has the right to take away my ability to defend myself?

Water, knives, forks, spoons, panythose, bed linens, pharmaceuticals, cars, hammers, screwdrivers, matches, legs, arms, hands, glass, metal, rope, yarn, plastic, dogs, horses (the Capriole) - just about anything can be used to hurt someone if someone has that intention. I'm sure there are many other things I could mention --------- point is:

Guns don't kill people. People kill people.

I have a Right to defend myself.

beatrice 10 years, 3 months ago

A hunter was killed just earlier this month when his dog stepped on his shotgun. http://www.nbc11.com/news/15001098/detail.html

Krakatau, do you think anyone has ever been killed when their dog stepped on "water, knives, forks, spoons, panythose, bed linens, pharmaceuticals, cars, hammers, screwdrivers, matches, legs, arms, hands, glass, metal, rope, yarn, plastic."

My bet is, probably not.

I wonder if the dog's name is Cheney.

Susan Mangan 10 years, 3 months ago

So many people read the first half of the Second Amendment and think they have it figured out. But you're forgetting the second half. It says, "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." This contains punctuation as originally drafted by the writers of the Constitution.

When determining "intent" of the writers, one only need to read the Federalist Papers. In essence, they were the explanations given for the original Constitutional Amendments. To create a document that served as our basis of law, they didn't want to fill it up with non-essential "fluff" to explain what they believed at the time was pretty self-explanatory. But to prevent future missreadings, they explained themselves in the Federalist Papers.

The Second Amendment does not guarantee a militia the right to bear arms. It guarantees the PEOPLE the right to bear arms, to protect themselves FROM the government. In laymen's terms..."A well armed army is necessary to the defense of a nation. But the right of the people to keep and bear arms will not be infringed." Because a government attempting to subvert its people first disarms them. It happened in Nazi Germany, but, more importantly, it happened in pre-Revolutionary America, prior to the drafting of the Constitution. An unarmed populace is the easist type to overwhelm and rule.

Krakatau 10 years, 3 months ago

No, my friend, but it's the 'intent' of the person who might train a dog to hurt someone. Keyword 'intent'. A person intending to do harm to another can use any of the items and probably hundreds more to hurt another if they make that choice.

The dog that stepped on the shotgun - freak accident. I feel it is rather odd for that to be used as an 'argument'. I am just now remembering the Sting Ray incident with the Crocidile Hunter.

Krakatau 10 years, 3 months ago

and............. the cell phone that got jammed down one girl's throat....the oil pumped into one woman's nose and mouth by her crazy husband, the high-heel shoe smacked over someone else's head, the plumbing drain pipe used to beat another to the ground, the 2x4 used on another.......... any of this 'intent' is wrong. It is not only guns that are used. In fact, guns are probably at the bottom of the list as hurting people.

beatrice 10 years, 3 months ago

Krakatau, please answer the question: If someone was intent on killing you, would you rather they have a cell phone in their hand, a quart of oil, or a gun?

And if it is so easy to kill with anything other than a gun, why isn't it just as easy to defend yourself with those things? Why not arm police with 2x4s?

It is obvious that people can kill using any number of things, including their bare hands, but please stop pretending that guns don't make the killing easier. That is why the dog was able to step on the gun and accidentally kill its owner, and that is why people buy them to defend themselves against the boogeyman. When a gun is added to the killing equation, when the intent is to kill, guns make the killing easier. Do you honestly deny this simple truth?

I'm not saying you don't have the right to own a gun, but I do think it is very silly to minimize the potential harm inherent with guns by comparing them to random objects people have used to inflict harm on others.

Krakatau 10 years, 3 months ago

Hhhhhmmmmm.....I've never really thought about how I would like someone to kill me. If they had a gun they would certainly need to be a good shot.

No long ago, someone was intent on killing me - and he almost accomplished this with his bare hands. After hitting me, knocking me down and strangling me several times, he would walk off for a second or two and come back as a lay unable to move and do it all over again. This went on for 1.5 hours on a beautiful spring morning (no alcohol involved) and I had been getting ready for work. He also stuck a pair of scissors into my neck to make sure I was listening. I was completely at his mercy.

Two things - Intent - he intended to hurt me very badly and he did.

If I had had a gun at that time, I would have had a better chance of detering him and defending myself. Being female, there was no way I could match his strength. I was in essence, completely helpless against him. A gun would have made the playing field more fair. The point I am trying to make is if someone wants to harm someone, they will find a way with whatever means necessary to get the job done......it's not always guns. Alot of it is normal everyday things (that's why I mentioned them before - just watch Forensic files) that normal people would not even think of using as a deadly weapon.

No matter how someone is hurt or killed by those intending to do so, it is all wrong. And if someone acts on those actions with a gun or any other object they should be held accountable to the highest degree - period.

By the Amendment, I have a Right to own a firearm. A couple of years ago I used to be against gun ownership, but after becoming a victim of such a crime, I really don't ever want to be in that position again.

Susan Mangan 10 years, 3 months ago

Krakatau - Thank God you survived! What a horrific thing to have to go through.

You're also absolutely right about being a good shot. I used to help train "regular" police and SWAT team members and we used real guns and wax bullets that we made ourselves. They won't kill, but they do really HURT. Especially with the adrenaline coursing through you, it is really difficult to hit a moving target without a lot of practice. That's one reason you hear of times when "40 rounds were fired", but no one got hit. And that's why we did those training sessions. Even though they weren't in danger of their lives, it is a high-stress, adrenaline-filled, atmosphere when conducting life-like scenarios with painful shots and the people we trained discovered quickly that the great shots they made at the range don't mean squat in real life...unless you plan for that and practice.

Personally, I'd take someone shooting at me from 20 yards than close-up with a baseball bat. As a woman, my odds are way better.

Krakatau 10 years, 3 months ago

Thanks VoiceofReason. My feelings exactly!!!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.