Just because someone has a permit to carry a concealed weapon is no guarantee that the carrier will be able to stop someone intent upon committing a crime. Case in point: My 55-year-old younger brother, David Paul, carried a concealed gun in a back holster for 29 years while he was an insurance salesman in Philadelphia. On April 12, 2004, he was jumped from behind by three men who had only a rope, which they used to strangle him and steal his money, gun and car. He never had a chance to pull out his gun because he was struggling to get the rope off his neck.

Fortunately, his attackers were arrested and convicted. Two were sentenced to life without parole; the third got 25 to 50 years in prison.

So do not give me that nonsense that if everyone had a gun, there would be less crime.

Joseph Scafetta Jr., Falls Church

Public policy and law based on emotions or hastily conceived in the aftermath of a tragedy are rarely wise. Most of the gun-control proposals being rushed toward legislation are not based on logic but are ineffective “feel-good” reactions to the impulse to “do something” or attempts to exploit tragedy to advance an anti-gun agenda. As President Obama concedes, no law can prevent an evil or mentally unbalanced person from killing. The best preventive measure is information that allows authorities to preempt a killing. No gun law, short of an absolute ban on ownership, would have prevented the Connecticut killer from gaining access to some type of firearm.

Richard A. Williams, Woodbridge

Am I understanding the dynamic described in Sari Horwitz and Philip Rucker’s powerful piece on the Obama administration and gun control [“Newtown seen as ‘tipping point’ for the president,” front page, Dec. 24]? The heart of it seems to be adviser David Axelrod’s explanation that avoiding a gun-control fight was a decision among competing priorities, given that such a fight “couldn’t” be won.

Then came the Sandy Hook Elementary School horror; maybe the vote count against the right to bear AR-15s has improved (Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) notwithstanding). Politics is the art of the possible, buffeted by the emotional, according to administration pragmatists.

Does this mean that lobbyists  and other power brokers call the shots during “normal” times, rudely interrupted by homicides, assassinations and massacres?

Mr. Axelrod claimed that a first-term gun-control push would have been “largely a symbolic act”. I think it would have been leadership — which we still desperately need.

David Wolinsky, Frederick

One of the surest ways to discern that a group has no strong arguments in its favor is its tendency to make outlandish statements and claims. In his Dec. 26 letter, Stephen Macartney wrote, “You can’t resist tyranny without military-type weapons.” What about rockets, cannons, bombs (including nuclear weapons), attack aircraft, bombers, etc. to “fight tyranny,” which was a buzzword in colonial times for the king but now would mean the federal government.

Assault weapons and large magazine clips have never been used by citizens for any positive purpose. Can we return to a rational discussion? I support gun rights for legitimate sporting purposes, but you will lose people like me with these “over the top” irrelevant statements.

Don Kniffen Sr., Crofton