December 24, 2012

Debbie Dingell’s Dec. 21 op-ed, “We need a new dialogue,” was superb. I am sorry Ms. Dingell had to endure such a painful experience with guns and violence as a child, but it gave her a unique insight into the anxiety that has plagued many children exposed to violence and caused irreparable harm to quite a few. I fear that the children who survived the ordeal at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., will carry the experience with them throughout their lives.

Ms. Dingell touched on most of the reasons we desperately “need a new dialogue” about guns, and I hope that we can embark on such a course in an honest and constructive manner. To her words, I would add only that we need to take a fresh look at violent films and video games that prey on young children’s brains, especially if the children have some type of mental health issues. It can’t be healthy for any child to grow up exposed to that type of artificial and competitive violence.

Mary Daley Yerrick, Bethesda

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I would like to thank Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) for his well-reasoned Dec. 20 op-ed, “Gun rights, with limits,” which stands in stark contrast to the writing of Eugene Robinson, who seems to fit snugly into the group Mr. Schumer described as pretending the Second Amendment doesn’t exist.

Mr. Robinson’s Dec. 18 op-ed column, “A time for action,” calling for gun owners to surrender “high-powered” weapons to “authorities for destruction,” was exactly the kind of statist nonsense that gun owners fear most and that, ironically, makes great copy for American Rifleman (though I prefer Guns and Ammo myself, since it has less politicking in it).

I’m more than willing to entertain intelligent debate. I don’t need 30-round magazines, and I can endure waiting periods and having to prove myself competent and sane. I’ll demonstrate to a government inspector that my guns are safely stored and that all safety features are operational, the same way I have to prove that I’m competent to drive a car and that my vehicle is safe to be on the road. But I will surrender nothing whatsoever to the authorities. Mr. Schumer is off to a great start. Mr. Robinson, not so much.

Michael Vann, Alexandria