December 28, 2012

In his Dec. 23 Sunday Opinion commentary, “Guns do kill people,” Philip Caputo made powerful points in the penultimate paragraph: “Not only do regulations in most states prohibit hunters from entering the field with the firepower of an infantry platoon, it’s considered unsportsmanlike. Apparently, we value the lives of our deer and ducks more than we do the lives of our children.”

If semiautomatic weapons are too powerful to use on ducks and deer, they surely have no place in U.S. suburbs, towns and cities. That means banning certain classes of weapons, not turning our schools, malls and other places of assembly into armed camps.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) and its most rabid supporters seem intent on turning the United States into a version of Afghanistan or a video game, where nearly everyone is armed to the teeth. That is not what the Framers of the Constitution intended; it is certainly not what the vast majority of Americans want. It is time to control the killing machines — and it is time for Congress to stand up for everyday Americans rather than kowtowing to the NRA.

Ken Brill, Bethesda

This past week I went to the official Web site of Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) to send him an e-mail letting him know I was glad to hear he was reconsidering his position on gun control. To send an e-mail using the form on his site, one must select from a list of topics. These included “Second Amendment Rights,” but not gun control, gun-related violence or even crime.

Mr. Warner has a well-deserved reputation for being reasonable, but one could infer from the limited options on this form that, at least prior to the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., he was not ready to acknowledge that gun-related violence is an issue that our society needs to confront.

David Pawel, McLean

Okay, National Rifle Association, let’s do it: armed guards in schools, churches, movie theaters, etc. — everywhere people have been shot. We can add up the yearly cost of this program and divide it by the number of guns in this country, and that figure will be the yearly license fee, per gun, that gun owners will pay.

People who do not own guns should not pay for problems related to them. If this does not reduce the number of gun-related deaths to the same rate as in other Western countries, then we should adopt stronger gun-control laws. Is it a deal?

Brian England, Columbia

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