Regarding, “It’s easier to get a gun than a driver’s license,” (Readers write, Opinion, Dec. 26), the writer of this letter refers to the “right to drive.” The right to drive is a new one to me. I always thought that driving was a privilege.
I could not find any mention of the right to drive in the Constitution. The right to keep and bear arms, however, is pretty clear. That said, I am not opposed to reasonable regulation of firearms — but I doubt that such reasonable regulation can be written by those who think that driving is a right.
RICK WOODWARD, ATLANTA
Fearful people resort
to firearms for safety
As the debate over gun control continues, proponents of any reasonable gun restrictions need to understand the core reason Americans are so hesitant to give up their weapons. It is not because the majority want to hunt, practice shooting, or go out and hurt someone; it is simply because of fear. All one has to do is watch the news to understand why this fear is so omnipresent.
Countless daily examples of murder, rape, home invasion and robbery create this fear. If someone is afraid for their family’s safety, it’s understandable why some go to the extreme of wanting to purchase military-style weapons. We will have to address and correct the causes of this fear before people will be willing to unilaterally disarm themselves.
ERIC SANDBERG, ATLANTA
leads to mass killings
In the aftermath of the tragedy in Connecticut, pro-gun groups are trying to cloud the issue with numerous ideas on how to solve the American problem of mass murder. They try to blame the entertainment industry for our violent culture, while failing to recognize that American films are viewed around the world without similar mass tragedies occurring. They make suggestions about armed guards in schools, or arming teachers — as if school personnel armed with handguns would be any match for a killer armed with semi-automatic weapons.
The only real question is, why does anyone need an assault weapon or a high-capacity ammunition clip to hunt or to defend their homes? Banning these items will go a long way in helping to put an end to the American problem of mass killings.
MIKE HAREMSKI, TUCKER
ROOTS OF EVIL
about mental illness
Michael Ramirez’s cartoon (Opinion, Dec. 28) implying that mental illness is one of the roots of “evil” is as offensive as it is disappointing.
Enlightened people understand that mental illness is usually chemically, biologically or genetically based, and has nothing to do with the mentally ill person’s character or morals. This kind of primitive thinking promotes fear and mistrust of mentally ill persons, and does nothing to decrease stigmatization toward them.
What is needed is more education based on facts, not judgment based on fear.