To the Editor:
Re “After Pinpointing Gun Owners, Paper Is a Target” (front page, Jan. 7):
Am I the only person confused by the inconsistent reasoning of America’s most vociferous pro-gun supporters? Since the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., pro-gun activists have insisted that “bad” people with guns would stay away from places where they knew that “good” people, too, had guns. Thus they advise arming the “good” people.
But now we learn from the president of the Westchester County Firearms Owners Association that its members are “really upset” with a local newspaper that published public records identifying the names and addresses of the area’s presumably “good” gun owners, and that those identified are “afraid for their families.”
Huh? If “bad” people with guns will be deterred by knowing which “good” people also have guns, shouldn’t identifying them assure the “good” ones of more safety, not less?
And speaking of safety, how come those “really upset” gun owners are threatening to destroy the incomes of, and even to shoot, the owners and employees of the offending newspaper? I thought they were supposed to be the “good” people. Maybe that’s the problem in America these days. It’s so hard to tell the “good” people from the “bad” ones.
Beverly Hills, Calif., Jan. 7, 2013
To the Editor:
In your article, a Journal News reporter, Dwight R. Worley, defends his newspaper’s publishing of gun owner names and addresses by saying, “The people have as much of a right to know who owns guns in their communities as gun owners have to own weapons.”
That’s not true. The right to own a gun as well as the right to privacy are both constitutionally protected, while there is no “right” to know whether your neighbor has a gun. That latter claim reflects a misunderstanding of New York’s Freedom of Information Act.
The intent of the law was not to facilitate the government’s revealing sensitive information about its citizenry, but rather to make sure the government cannot conceal its own ineptitude or malfeasance from any legitimate inquiry from the media or any other private interest.
The Journal News’s action was outside the spirit of the law. The State Legislature and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo now need to amend the law to avoid such journalistic abuse.
D. M. MARKOWITZ
Wilton, N.Y., Jan. 7, 2013
To the Editor:
“More Guns = More Killing” (Sunday Review, Jan. 6), detailing the dangers of arming school guards, is based on hard data and not the emotionalism of the Sandy Hook horror or the politics of the National Rifle Association.
In most schools there are from 5 to 40 exterior doors and more than 20 easily accessible first-floor classrooms. Students are transported on buses, go on field trips, play athletic contests both home and away, and attend summer school. It is complete folly to advocate armed guards, since you would need a military squad to truly safeguard any building.
More important, as your article indicates, every time a weapon is fired, “everyone is vulnerable.”
How would parents feel if their child were a victim of what the military calls “collateral damage”?
Floral Park, Queens, Jan. 6, 2013
The writer is a retired school superintendent.
To the Editor:
I have only seven guns in my house. As a resident of rural South Texas, this makes me practically a Quaker. Some of my guns I bought, some I inherited from my father and some I held for my son while he was in the Army.
I hunt on rare occasions and enjoy a little target shooting. I’ve killed a dozen rattlesnakes and a rabid raccoon on my place. A couple of times I was comforted to have a gun when I politely asked trespassers to leave my property—now.
The point is I like my guns, but I do not love them. Love is reserved for the likes of the children and teachers who died so senselessly in Sandy Hook. This and other recent tragedies serve to focus our minds on a complex blend of Second Amendment rights, public safety, civil society and mental health. I do not know what solution we will ultimately find.
My own personal and immediate reaction, though, was to take a large-capacity ammo clip and pound it down with a hammer. My ranch rifle works fine without it, and it was stupid to have. I don’t need it, and I don’t think anyone does.
WILLIAM C. DAVIS
Los Fresnos, Tex., Jan. 8, 2013