Published DateTo the editor,
Dear Bernadette Loesch:
Apparently three times is the charm as I finally noticed your letter in Saturday's Laconia Daily Sun. I regret not seeing your earlier letters.
Your letter of April 26 asks, "why (do) ordinary, law abiding people need to own or be able to use high powered, lethal weapons?" In America the poor, weak, un-famous, and politically unconnected have the same right to life as rich, powerful, famous, and politically connected people.
Law abiding people need guns because governments don't keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Our right to life includes our right to protect ourselves and other innocent lives from criminals. That requires guns with enough bullets. The police will rarely arrive in time to protect you. As the NRA correctly states, when seconds count, the police are minutes away.
I am not aware of any low powered, lethal weapons. If something is lethal, it is high powered enough. Neither of us is going to care if we are killed with a 22, a 50 cal. Barrett's, or a 30 cal. machine gun, we'll be just as dead. I prefer that potential murderers, and other criminals, are detoured by knowing that they may be seriously harmed by a potential victim.
As I discussed on my letter of May 17, the purpose of the Second Amendment is to allow citizens as a last resort to protect themselves from an oppressive government (this is so hard for us to imagine, yet many citizens felt the same way even as they were being carted off to their deaths).
As free citizens we have a right to own and use weapons for whatever lawful purposes we want. Along with that freedom goes responsibility for their safe use.
Your letter of May 11 asks "why people ... need to arm themselves with weapons of mass destruction." You continue with "why people need high power weaponry" implying that "high power weaponry" (assuming you mean guns) are "weapons of mass destruction". This is not the case. "Weapons of mass destruction" typically means chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapons. I don't recall anyone advocating individual ownership of weapons of mass destruction.
Guns of various sizes and capabilities are used for hunting, target shooting, defense and other lawful purposes. For most activities people know what they need. But people are usually surprised when they need a gun for defense; attackers rarely pre-announce their intentions. A successful defense requires fast enough access to your gun and enough bullets. Fortunately, many crimes are prevented by displaying a gun and without firing a shot. I wish more people were able to defend themselves.
Hopefully I have answered your questions. I suggest that you and others who are not familiar with guns talk to people who know guns or go to a shooting range and get some instruction.
Guns are tools that can be used for good or evil. There will always be evil whether we want to believe it or not. The question is whether people face the world as it is or live in a fantasy world. I accept that some rational, knowledgeable people decide to just accept whatever evil happens to them. But, I am saddened that many thousands become robbery, rape, and murder victims out of ignorance, an irrational fear of guns, or legal restrictions such as the counter-productive "gun free zones" that are so often a major factor in mass killings and other crime.
Thank goodness that many people are prepared to defend themselves. Not only do they have that right, but the fact that so many people are prepared to defend themselves seems to be a major factor in the decline of violent crimes.