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Letters to The Platteville Journal for Jan. 9
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The NRA’s bad idea

I was disheartened but not surprised to hear the NRA’s solution to the Newtown killings last month: arm the teachers.

Really? Is this the best we as a society can do? Our country has 300 million firearms in private citizens’ hands, and more Americans die at the hands of firearms each year than all the other industrialized nations in the world. More Americans died from gunshot wounds in 2012 than died on the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan the past ten years combined. Armed guards did not stop the killings at Columbine or at Virginia Tech in recent years.

Those who support the NRA position say teachers could be trained and weapons would be kept under lock and key. The shooter at Newtown killed 28 innocent people in 5 minutes. He was able to maximize his carnage in a minimal amount of time because the assault weapon he used had 30-round clips. He used several of them.

I have four suggestions that I do not believe will strip Americans who like firearms of their Second Amendment rights (spare me the slippery slope rebuttal, please):
•    Ban the sale of 30-clip rounds. I do not know of any deer hunters that need 30 or 100 round drums to kill deer.
•    Require background checks at gun shows and private gun sales. This currently is a huge loophole in the effort to keep guns out the hands of criminals and those with mental health issues and a history of domestic abuse.
•    Put more resources into mental health treatment in our communities.
•    Prohibit the sale of armor-piercing bullets commonly referred to as cop-killer bullets.

I do not believe these proposals are extreme and do not infringe on law-abiding gun owners their basic rights. I would hope that gun owners would see these common sense proposals as an alternative to the “guns don’t kill, people kill” tiresome rhetoric.

Tom Osting

‘Nuts, nuts, nuts’

I am a lifelong hunter and gun owner who has seen enough of these senseless killings and madness. We have witnessed killing after killing and nothing changes. Almost all — if not all — of these deeds are happening with weapons that were at one time legally purchased.

We need to realize and understand that assault weapons, banana clips, and “cop killer” bullets have no place in a normal society or in hunting. These weapons are created with one purpose — to kill as many people as possible. The only legitimate purpose for these weapons is in military situations and we as a society need to ensure that the only people who possess them are in the military or police.

We also need to change the insane situation where anyone can go out and buy legally any weapon they want at a gun show or one-to-one purchases without a background check. I am absolutely sure that most Americans would agree that these weapons of mass killing should have no place in our society. Weapons that allow someone to shoot innocent children multiple times and to shoot an Oak Creek police officer 14 times before he can draw his weapon have nothing to do with anyone’s Second Amendment rights or hunting rights.

In closing, what I really find offensive is the NRA’s response to these killings. To send out fundraising letters with the intent of stopping the “Obama anti-gun agenda” is nuts, nuts, nuts.

I would hope that rational Americans could come together to demand that their elected officials have the guts to do something about this senseless violence and make our society safer.

Charles T. Steudel
Mineral Point

The Platteville Journal will print most letters to the editor, regardless of the opinion presented. The Journal reserves the right to edit material that is libelous or otherwise offensive to community standards and to shorten letters the Journal feels are excessively long. All letters must be signed and the signature must appear on the printed letter, along with a contact number or email for verification. Some submitted letters may not be published due to space constraints. “Thank you” letters will not be printed. All letters and columns represent the views of the writers and not necessarily the views of the Platteville Journal.