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Letters to the Editor - Feb. 4

February 04, 2013

Concealed-carry permits could lead to less gun crime

To the editor:

Thomas Sowell, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, correctly notes that the gun-control controversy is debated almost solely in terms of fixed preconceptions, with little or no examination of the facts. Let’s correct that deficiency today by looking at the facts.

Criminologists Don B. Kates and Gary Mauser write in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Vol. 30, that the U.S. National Academy of Sciences could not identify any gun control anywhere in the world that had successfully reduced violent crime, suicide or gun accidents. The same conclusion, they say, was reached in 2003 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. 

On the contrary, criminologists Hans Toch & Alan J. Lizotte write that American states with low homicide rates have high gun ownership and impose no controls designed to deny guns to law-abiding, responsible adults. 

Kates and Mauser discovered that where states adopted laws permitting qualified citizens to carry guns, it was followed by significant reductions in murder and violence in those states. 

Moreover, they report, “The empirical evidence unquestionably establishes that gun ownership by prospective victims not only allows them to resist criminal attack, but also deters violent criminals from attacking them in the first place.”

They reference one particular study that concluded that violent crime rates were highest in states that flatly ban carrying concealed weapons, next highest in those that allowed local authorities discretion over permits (may issue), and lowest in states with nondiscretionary concealed weapons laws under which police are legally required to license every qualified applicant (shall issue). 

The right, proper and most effective approach to gun violence, then, is to grant concealed-carry permits to every sane, law-abiding citizen who wants one. As counterintuitive as it might seem, the evidence is clear that more guns equal less gun crime.

G.F. Miller
Hagerstown


Obama has no authority over Constitution, Bill of Rights

To the editor:

An Associated Press story in The Herald-Mail on Jan. 10 stated “But a day ahead of a (Biden) meeting with the National Rifle Association, which has sunk past gun-control efforts and is opposing any new ones ...”

That same afternoon, National Rifle Association President David Keene gave an interview regarding New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal that basically debunks the AP story stating that the NRA is “opposing any new ones.”

The following is taken from that interview:

“In spite of his criticisms of the governor’s policy proposals, Mr. Keene said he supported the elements of the seven-point plan that would affect criminals who use or try to purchase guns.”

“Some of the things he (Cuomo) proposed in terms of dealing with gang violence and criminals ought to be welcomed by everyone including gun owners … Aside from the insane people that are involved in these mass shootings, most gun crime, most crimes involving firearms, crime period is committed by people who, in effect, are making a living by stealing purses, burglarizing houses and robbing people … Anything that deals with gun crime by prosecuting people who misuse firearms in the commission of a felony is a good idea and that part’s fine. But the idea of banning or restricting firearms from perfectly honest, legitimate Americans who have a right to defend themselves as per the Supreme Court and the Second Amendment, have a right to privately own firearms, is both constitutionally suspect and, from a policy standpoint, has been empirically demonstrated over time not to have any impact whatever on violence or crime.”

Do you hear the president using executive orders to circumvent Congress (and the Constitution)? Can you spell tyranny or dictatorship? Obama has no authority over the Constitution or the Bill Of Rights.

Bill Reno
Hagerstown


Unions seem to have lost touch with workers

To the editor:

This is in response to the letter to the editor (Jan. 27) by Bill Limpert that said unions are to blame for economic problems.

Fairchild, Good Humor/Breyers Ice Cream, Fleetwood Trailers, Roadway, Danzer Sheet Metal, Hostess, Eastalco, the Williamsport tannery, Boat America, Kelly-Springfield Tires ... the list goes on.

All of these companies had union representation. All of these companies have closed or left the area. Thousands of jobs gone from the economy because union leadership would not compromise with management. Union leadership does not seem to understand that when a business is not viable or moving in the direction of prosperity, the business closes or moves to a more favorable business climate. When this happens, there are no employees to unionize. No workers, no jobs, no union dues. The economy falters, and we all lose.

Unions today seem to have lost touch with the reason why they were formed — to protect, preserve and promote American jobs. Unions today seem to be focused on monetary and political gains, like “The Fair Share Act,” where employees pay into union funding but do not get union recognition or membership. It used to be the saying was “union pride,” now it’s “union greed.” The union didn’t hire anyone but caused thousands to lose employment.

Dee and Jay Miller
Clear Spring

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