Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Tucson tragedy sparks concerns about gun control, mental-illness services
Current gun laws sufficient
I read with interest the editorial on limiting availability of high-capacity magazines [“Finding common ground on gun control,” Opinion, Jan. 20]. I wonder how giving up my high-capacity magazines is going to stop a criminal from having them?
We lived through the Brady Ban when the high-capacity magazines could not be purchased at retail stores. This did not stop criminals from having them, only law abiding citizens — as is seen with the violence in Mexico. Ninety-five percent of the arms come from gun cartels outside the U.S. and not from private or retail gun stores in the U.S.
Under the Constitution we have the right legally to own guns and associated items. I am a life-member of the NRA. What we, as citizens, see is acts by the left and the media meant to take away our rights. If you get one thing, you will not stop. Handgun control and the left move to the next item to reduce our rights.
We have enough gun laws. Prosecute criminals under the laws we have. Don’t blame me for what others do. When you take our guns only the criminals and the government will have guns.
Seeing what happened when guns were outlawed in Germany, Japan, Cambodia, Russia and China after guns were taken from the private citizens we should rethink what you propose. Only 58 million people were killed by the governments in these countries. I think I will keep my guns and my high-capacity magazines because you cannot trust the government or the U.N., for that matter.
— Roy H. Emmett, Kent
Reasons to increase awareness about mental illness
What does it take to get some serious attention paid to the elephant in the living room? The press asks why senseless shootings occur and create uproar over some of the possibly contributing factors.
Finally some sane voice from the wilderness says we need to pay attention to the matter of mental illness. The issue is far too important to be ignored any longer by our legislators and health-policy administrators. I have a few ideas, not original, but from personal and professional experience.
One, we need changes in laws in order to allow treatment of psychotic individuals. Two, we need oversight and requirements of the so-called group homes, which are too scarce and in dire need of decent standards. Three, we need mass education about the vexing problems for the mentally ill and an effort to reduce the stigma we are told is one of the reasons for the neglect.
Finally, if legislators are saying we don’t have the money for these good things, I say there are three reasons to put the money into treatment instead of jails, trials, prison terms, appeals etc., — it costs less, it costs less, and it costs less. Ask the people who know.
— Helen Cahan, Seattle
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