Readers write

Credit: pskinner@ajc.com

Credit: pskinner@ajc.com

Requiring permits would help to get guns off streets

I would like to salute Maureen Downey for her courage in addressing the meek leadership on gun control in our state (”Politicians fortify schools rather than control guns,” News, Jan. 17). Every day we bemoan the violence in our city and state and yet do nothing to introduce ideas for meaningful change. Locking our children in school is a poor substitute for getting guns off our streets.

I encourage our leaders to recognize there are better ways to control guns. The first and easiest is to require a permit to ensure a gun owner would learn how to safely store a gun in their house so teenagers and young children cannot access it. Other states also require gun owners to have insurance on their guns and pay a fee to own one.

These are minimal restrictions that would begin to make inroads toward what other more forward-thinking states have legislated to protect their citizens and children.

Let’s get started on reducing the violence and deaths from guns in our own backyard.

MARY M. POE, ATLANTA

Don’t blame school shootings on gun ownership

Maureen Downey’s column about school shootings, focusing on the number of guns being the reason behind the criminal incidents taking place in schools, bears scrutiny, (“Politicians fortify schools rather than control guns,” News, Jan. 17).

She doesn’t adequately question why school shootings have become more prevalent in the past 40 years than in the 150 years leading up to Columbine. She points the blame on the number of guns in this country, almost all of which are owned by law-abiding citizens.

Maybe she could ponder the question, why weren’t school shootings happening frequently long before? Gun ownership has always been a fact of life and is prevalent in this country. Could it be something changed in societal/family structure, contributing to increased shootings since Columbine?

Perhaps the real reason for these horrible crimes says something about the society we have become. I suspect that if 393 million guns were really the problem, significantly more crimes would occur.

Don’t blame the guns. Look for the true reason elsewhere, then don’t shirk from reporting the truth.

DANNY AGAN, WASHINGTON, GA