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The danger from guns

Regarding Courtland Milloy’s Feb. 6 Metro column, “Gun bans are no silver bullet”:

Guns don’t kill people, and neither should teachers. That apparently is Mr. Milloy’s contribution to the current conversation about ending gun violence in the United States.

As a teacher in an elementary school, I strongly agree with his second point. But I would edit the first one to: Guns don’t kill people; people’s easy access to guns does.

Every developed country has mentally ill people and violent video games, movies and television, but the United States stands alone in allowing such easy access to guns. And — surprise! — it also has by far the highest per capita murder rate among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries.

Gail Melson, Silver Spring

Courtland Milloy wrote that, after he blasted away with an AR-15, it was hard to pretend that “any gun was somehow more dangerous than the person holding it.” Fair enough.

But then, without any evidence,  he claimed that children are “adversely affected” by violent video games, which seem to me no more dangerous than the person playing them. 

Ira R. Allen, Bethesda

Regarding the Feb. 5 news article “Both sides on gun control turning to women”:

As some women tout the advantage of having guns in their homes for protection, they would do well to pause and think about a mother in Connecticut who owned many guns. She was unable to protect herself from her own son, who killed her and then went to Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed and killed and killed some more. With his mother’s guns.

Maureen Clark, Alexandria

I do not know what Richard Lampl was trying to say in his Feb. 5 letter describing the infantile behavior of two supposed adults trying to negotiate a narrow driveway, but Mr. Lampl’s attempt to drown out the other driver by turning up the radio like some hear-no-evil statue clearly was not productive. It took the fear that the other man had a gun to persuade Mr. Lampl to stop his chest-beating so the confrontation could be resolved peacefully.

Mr. Lampl wondered if there is a moral to his story. Isn’t it that our society would be more polite and less confrontational if we all believed that the other person was armed and might respond with overwhelming force if provoked?

Of course, that would also suggest of current U.S. society that we behave nicely only under the threat of a spanking.

Philip Gallman, McLean

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