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Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words letters@seattletimes.com.

January 13, 2013 at 7:00 AM

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Reaction to prospective gun-control laws varies

Legislators need to be braver

What more needs to be said regarding the easy availability of assault weapons to anyone with a pulse [“Time to talk about guns,” page one, Jan. 9]? The Lion in the “Wizard Of Oz” had more courage than our legislators.

--Don Curtis, Clinton

Legalizations and sale of drugs will reduce gang violence significantly

Three Harvard professors are the worst possible “authorities” on reducing gun-violence [“Guns: What 3 doctors order,” NWThursday, Jan. 10”]. They’re just three more insulated liberal academics living in a tenure-protected dream world. Witness how all three of their dream schemes just punish law-abiding gun owners while pretending criminals don’t exist.

The only answer to American gun violence is the legalization and cheap sale of recreational drugs. I’m a retired cop who never used anything, including marijuana. We’d need enforcement of laws against committing crimes under the influence and involving minors, but providing cheap recreational drugs would kill the profit monster that drives gang-related gun violence

--William Slusher, Okanogan

Use words wisely in relation to gun-control

The Times is becoming more accurate in its use of terms in the gun debate, but it owes its readers an explanation of the terms that it uses. I suspect that most readers have very limited information.

Your recent visual defining the characteristics of an “assault weapon” is a strange amalgam. Rifle grenades are considered explosive devices by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; try to find one. Bayonets are available, but hardly useful. True assault weapons are capable of fully automatic fire.

Be careful with terms such as “automatic,” “rapid fire,” and “high powered.” Fully automatic weapons expend all available ammunition with one pull of the trigger. For practical purposes, they have not been available to the U.S. public since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The other two cited terms are both ambiguous and politically loaded. I suspect that you can find knowledgeable persons on staff to ensure accurate, educational content.

If implemented, some of the apparently innocuous restrictions commonly floated would, not could, affect the possession, ownership and legality of firearms that have been in common use by U.S. citizens for more than 100 years.

The media owe their public factual information in both news and opinion pieces. How that information is interpreted is a separate matter.

--Ward D. Henneberry, Bellevue

Pro-gun arguments only emphasize need for ban

“Bad guys don’t turn in their guns,” said Dave Workman of GunMag.

“If guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns” goes the well-worn argument.

Precisely. Then if one is found with a prohibited firearm, it can be assumed it is for an illegal purpose.

These statements only support the case for banning weapons no sportsman or homeowner can justify, and buying back those weapons to compensate existing owners for the change in law.

--Keith Logan, Seattle


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