A+ A A-

The laws we make as a people are statements of our values

To the editor,
I have done my share of reading regarding the issue of background checks and I have yet to find one argument from the gun neurotics that makes any sense. Steve Earle's latest letter is an example of the deeply flawed reasoning I keep seeing. In his latest whine, Steve Earle misses the point completely when he uses the president's statement that checks would not have prevented Newton. Ninety Five percent of gun crime is done with handguns, not mass killing machines. Sensible people see Newtown as a symptom of what Australia's conservative prime minister called "the American Disease" after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996.
Steve then launches off into another exceptionally twisted line of thinking. He claims since prohibition and the drug war have not worked, background checks won't make any difference. That bizarre line of tea party logic is just like saying since laws against rape, murder, robbery, arson, and assault don't work all of the time — well, you get the picture.
The laws we make as a people are statements of our values. Since certain people want to keep the loopholes open that will allow terrorists, mentally dangerous individuals, and criminals to arm themselves, I question whether such people have any civilized values left in them. They have drank the poison. There is something very wrong with these people's heads. Its just terrible to the right wing if a Muslim slips through the cracks but its okay if 30,000 Americans die each year from guns because "screw the world, we gotta have our guns!".
Background checks won't stop all aspiring sociopaths and spouse killers from getting guns but they will reduce the casualties. None are saying we can end the killing but civilized people want to lower the death toll from the American Disease. Background checks do indeed work to cut down on gun deaths. Daniel Webster from John Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research makes it simple enough even for the tea party to understand: "The illogical exemption of private gun sales from background checks is the very reason that criminals don't currently have to obey existing background check laws." Webster's studies have revealed some interesting facts. "State laws prohibiting high-risk groups — perpetrators of domestic violence, violent misdemeanants and the severely mentally ill — from possessing firearms have been shown to reduce violence." One of his studies found that state laws prohibiting individuals under a domestic violence restraining order from owning guns cut intimate partner homicides by 19 percent. Another study found that state universal background checks coupled with "laws designed to increase gun seller and purchaser accountability — significantly reduce the number of guns diverted to the illegal market, where the above high risk groups often get their guns". Webster also notes that gaps in federal laws undermine smart state laws and further facilitate gun trafficking.
The Center found that states without universal background checks had a 30 percent higher rate of exporting guns across state lines that were later recovered from criminals and crime sites. The research also showed that states with loopholes are "associated with significantly higher levels of guns diverted to criminals both in-state and out of state". In another study after Missouri repealed its permit-to-purchase licensing and private handgun sale background checks law in 2007 there were immediate repercussions: "The share of guns recovered by Missouri police agencies that had an unusually short time interval between retail sale and crime — which is indicative of trafficking — more than doubled. The share of crime guns that had originally been sold by Missouri gun dealers rose sharply." According to the CDC, the Missouri gun murder rate rose 25 percent in those three years compared to the previous nine years.
Mr. Earle also goes after polling. As usual, he is wrong. Quinnipiac polling shows that — nationally — 88 percent support expanded background checks. That includes less populated states like Alaska and Arizona which check in at 60 percent and 70 percent. Arizona's Senator Jeff Flake, has taken a big hit since his vote. His approval rating plummeted to 32 percent. And that is the flake from flakey Arizona! We have our own flake that has to go.
James Veverka

Last Updated on Friday, 03 May 2013 09:26

Hits: 494

Health care costs rise because hospitals need to make money

To the editor,
House is one of my favorite TV programs. But, in the interests of drama, it skips completely over any economic questions relating to health care. Start with costs: House's team of one genius and four dunderheads probably costs the hospital a total of some $2 million a year in salaries. But I suspect that Lisa Cuddy, the hospital administrator, keeps the team on for another reason besides her latent lust for the scruffy crippled doctor. That team probably generates huge profits for Princeton-Plainsboro hospital. They order up expensive tests like McDonald's milkshakes. Your heart surgery failed? We'll do brain surgery next. That didn't work? We'll try something else. Oh, you had some simple thing that one injection makes disappear in minutes? Well, so it goes — you're cured. Does your insurance cover all this? No one ever asks.
Hospitals are businesses. Even the non-profit ones have to make money to survive. To make money they need filled beds, busy ORs, and bustling test facilities. This is not to say that hospitals don't want us to get better, it's just that the financial incentives strongly tilt the table towards more income-generating events. The rest of the health care delivery system is in the same boat. It is this tilt of the table that must be addressed if we are ever to be successful in reducing health costs. The private marketplace is not the solution to this problem. Society, in the form of government, must have a leading role.
Johan Andersen

Last Updated on Friday, 03 May 2013 09:23

Hits: 358

Sen. Ayotte’s vote was a refusal to put a band-aid on a leaky boat

To the editor,
I would like to sincerely thank U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte for holding two town halls on Tuesday, April 30th in the towns of Warren and Tilton. The time she took to explain the situation in Washington and answer the many questions from the audience truly showed her commitment to serving our state. I hope she knows how much that service means to N.H. voters.
The most controversial issue in question during both town hall meetings was Senator Ayotte's "nay" vote on the "Manchin-Toomey" amendment; a piece of legislation that ultimately expands the current, unenforced, background check system. How is it unenforced? Well, mental health verdicts where an individual is found to be a danger to themselves or others is not entered into the system, despite the fact that the large majority of recent mass murders have been committed by those who are mentally unstable.
Additionally, according to testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2010, 80,000 people were denied through firearms background checks and only 44 of them were prosecuted by the DOJ. How can we expect to keep guns from being obtained illegally if there are no penalties or follow up on existing laws?
Instead of sticking a band-aid on a leaky boat, Senator Ayotte backs real solutions such as addressing mental health gaps in the criminal justice system and making sure that illegally obtaining a gun has consistent consequences.
Adeline Johnson

Last Updated on Friday, 03 May 2013 09:07

Hits: 347

There is no such thing as a ‘no questions asked’ gun dealer

To the editor,
Henry Osmer wrote another of his hate-filled diatribes against a number of us who disagree with his politics and messages of misinformation. He picks Jack Stephenson and myself out for particular vitriol and makes the claim that I run when I see him. Actually I walk away in disdain. Actually I'm far from the only one in town who avoids him. If Henry dislikes Jack calling him names he should recall he started with the name calling a few years ago so if he can't take it he shouldn't dish it out. In his recent letter, Henry repeats the lie that the U.S. sold poison gas to Iraq. Look who's calling others liers.
In his letter, Henry bases his assertion that we sold poison gas to Iraq on columns on the net. Well no wonder he confused, because Henry only reads or listens to far-left points of view. An example is his telling all readers to turn off Fox News and watch an MSNBC special. MSNBC is the most outrageously partisan left-wing channel around. He quotes the anchors like a preacher quotes scripture as if all truth and wisdom were held therein. Well consider the source I guess?
Dorothy Duffy says the state is ashamed of Kelly Ayotte. Speak for yourself Dorothy because I think she did the right thing. Your information on guns and gun control is lacking because in every New England state, instant gun checks are mandatory when you buy a gun at any gun store or at gun show. There is no such thing as a "no questions asked" gun dealer in stores or shows as some have claimed. At shows there is always a police presence, which ensures the laws are obeyed.
Mr. Maloof from Plymouth has made something of a fool of himself with his absurd statement that the 2nd Amendment is racist. Several people have written better retorts then I can so I'll just commend those writers.
Steve Earle

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 May 2013 09:14

Hits: 348

It’s control of citizens, more than guns, at top of Obama’s agenda

To the editor,
The longstanding "target" of Obama's ongoing gun control agenda is actually more of his desire for government control of more and more of the average citizen's thoughts and actions — witness health care and education for a couple of more examples. A look at the success of gun control laws in any of our large cities will show a complete failure to increase anyone's safety. Let's take Obama's old home town of Chicago, now the vaunted "murder capital of America". Chicago has had some of the strictest gun laws in the country since before Al Capone. It was even illegal to possess a handgun in your own home, for self defense, until the 2010 Mc Donald Vs. Chicago Supreme Court decision. Mayor Daly, then, immediately sought to enact new laws to circumvent this decision. There are plenty of numbers available online to get your attention if you are willing to look and admit that any new proposed laws will have no effect on anyone but the millions of law-abiding American gun owners. Do you really expect even one criminal or up and coming "wanabe" to line up for a background check or registration. Get real!
I challenge Obama and his lackey, Rahm Emanuel, to clean up Chicago before attempting to force more "citizen control" laws down millions of our throats. About those Chicago 2012 numbers, 2,400 plus shootings resulting in 500 plus deaths. More than 5,000 killed by guns since 2001, compared to 2000 in Afghanistan during the same period. Emanuel along with several top politicians won't travel without a complete security force, but wish to deny his citizens to even try to protect themselves in their own homes. Chicago even protects former mayor Richard Daly with two vehicles manned by Chicago police officers to the tune of about two million dollars a year. I could go on, but you may get the picture by now. If not, try looking it up.
One more question about all the emotional attacks on Senator Ayotte, for her recent vote, is what makes you think that any new gun laws would be more successful than the failure of so many similar, but unenforced old laws? Perhaps she is one of the few of our current representation in Washington that has the guts to resist Obama's continuing push for more "citizen control". Remember also, that you can't legislate morality. Thank you.
Donald Lockwood

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 May 2013 09:00

Hits: 368

The Laconia Daily Sun - All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy
Powered by BENN a division of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Login or Register