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The Colorado shootings: Guns in the spotlight

Here are a dozen more letters to the editor about the massacre at the movie theater in Colorado:

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I've read the letters to the Editor and comments.  Sadly, this shooter was a genius level Ph.D. candidate that no one saw coming.

There are already twisted people who are thinking of how they can "best" this guy.

As a parent and grandparent I'm equally appalled that parents would take young kids to a midnight showing. But as a gun-owner, former Marine and 30 year cop, I have been in a shooting and shot at, tazed and gassed. I know how fast it happens. I know the pain and emotions.  Many cops and crime victims know this.

Analyze the scene. Gunfire, O.C. spray tear gas in a crowded panic-filled theatre. Even a highly trained armed military or police officer would have to be LUCKY to hit the shooter.

Norway has very strict gun laws, but couldn't prevent the worst shooting massacre to date.

If you decide to carry a gun, take the course, observe the laws, practice regularly and be sure you have the will to kill. If you don't, a gun won't help you.

Jim Davenport
Kenly
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Sadly, gun control advocates and guns rights advocate are not going to find a middle ground.   Not after Virginia Tech.  Not after Gabbie Giffords.  Not after Columbine.  Not after Aurora.

So why can't/don't we use technology to try to PARTIALLY address the problem?

What do I mean?

When I go to Amazon, they know every book I have ever purchased and recommend books I might like.

When I browse CNN, I get ads based on the cookies that track my web habits.

When my wife goes online to buy clothes, they recommend her exact size and colors/styles similar to what she has bought in the past.

So why can't there be software or technology that flags a person who was turned down for membership by the local shooting range and buys the following in a short period of time

      -  protective tactical gear, including a bullet proof vest and helmet
     -   tear gas canisters
      -  an AR-15 rifle
       - a 12-gauge shotgun
      -   two .40-caliber handguns
      -  6,000 rounds of ammunition
       - a specialized cannon designed to shoot 100 bullets per minute

When you go to the pharmacy, you can buy only a specified quantity of Benadryl.  And I have to ask the pharmacist for it.  I cant buy hordes of it online.

If you go to Home Depot and try to buy too many bags of fertilizer, it triggers an inquiry.

But the shooter in Colorado bought all of this without even a red flag?  Without even a delay?

We regulate every constitutional right (press, assembly, speech, voting, etc) so long as the regulation does not unduly infringe on anyone's exercise of the same. Technology (often) makes this easier (e.g., voter ID cards) and more effective, protecting the both the individual's right and the public's need for protection from its misuse.

I own a firearm and don't have any intention of giving it up.   But if we cant get the two sides to agree on a reasonable middle ground, let's at least agree to use technology to its fullest.

Tim Tompkins
Raleigh
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I like my guns, I own several guns, but I think we need to debate a few things and make some changes. No law is going to prevent some terrorist or idiot from hurting people but some could help and if it saved just one life it would be worth it. The guy in Colorado was denied a membership at the shooting range because the owner of the shooting range did a follow-up after receiving the online application and called his home, finding he had a crazy voice on the answering service he told his employees that this applicant would not be allowed on the range. How about the sizable purchases? Here are some proposals that I think would be a good start.

1. Stronger background check
2. Establish a National Data Base
3. If a person buys a gun legally and then purchases more than 1 additional gun in a 30 day period a red flag goes by their name in the national Data base and the ATF or FBI notifies the locals and they pay a friendly visit or do additional background checks.
4. No private gun sales unless the go through same system that a gun shop has to go through to sell a person a gun.
5. No clips or other items that hold over 12 bullets
6. No clips to be sold by internet only thru gun stores
7. All ammunition sold should go in a data base.
8. No ammunition sold over the internet
9. Purchase of ammunition should be judged based on a normal amount, when someone purchases over this normal amount the red flag goes up in the national data base and the ATF or FBI notifies the locals and they pay a friendly visit or do additional background checks. 

I do not feel these items I am proposing would be a threat to my rights, and if just one of the nine items stopped a nut from shooting citizens of our country then it is worth the effort.  Now I know this might be an invasion of my privacy, but that is better than several dozen dead or ruined for life and look at the toll it will take on those folks wounded and their families but what about the dead ones and their families.

This has to stop

Paul Long
Lillington

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It’s amazing how low the bar has been set when our success criteria for dealing with mass shootings, as the letter-writer suggests (July 24th “Take Up Arms”), is to keep the bullet count below “70-plus shots.”  Logic would seem to dictate that one great way to do that would be to outlaw high-capacity magazines and assault rifles.  But no, the letter-writer instead reasons that more people shooting in a dark and smoke-filled theater would be best.   Unbelievable….
 
Paul Bassett
Pittsboro

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I have been watching and reading info on the mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., and have come to a personal conclusion. Mankind, in times of tragedy, sees no color, no religion, no sexual orientation and no political affiliation which is a beautiful thing. Therefore, I DO NOT feel this is the right time to impose one's religious beliefs and insinuate this tragedy occurred because God isn't in homes, schools and public places.  The God I know was there before, during and, most profoundly, after the tragedy.  

My heart is with the injured, the victims, the families and the people of Aurora.

Layne Thomas
Cary

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I am astonished at the amount of people expressing the opinion the tragedy in Colorado could have been averted, or at least diminished in scope, if the movie goers were allowed to carry concealed weapons into the theater. To all these people I would like to say this.

Since I feel pretty confident there are no arguments, facts, statistics or even common sense that would make you re-think your strong feelings about gun ownership, here is a scenario that may give you some food for thought - or so I hope.

A disturbed person walks into a theater and starts shooting indiscriminately into the crowd. Two or three modern day Wyatt Earps, realizing what is going on, quickly draw and shoot (in the dark, mind you). One bullet hits the perpetrator. One other bullet hits, and kills an innocent bystander. That bystander is your own son.

If I were in your shoes I could not help but feel my own son's blood on my hands and the thought that perhaps others were saved would be of little consolation indeed.

Could this ever happen to you, or is it only an absurd scenario dreamed up by the twisted mind of a bleeding heart liberal? Would you consider it only an unfortunate turn of fate - God's will, so to speak?

Perhaps it is God's will when people die.

But when they die like this, I can't help but point my finger at LaPierre and the NRA bunch before I blame God.

Renato Chiavatti

Cary

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Following the Aurora, Colo., tragedy, I wonder how many gun owners with children shed a crocodile tear for 6-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan or shrugged and thought "if she'd only had a gun to fight back"?

Considering their scripted responses to the current tragedy, echoing their usual lamentations, it seems that the right to bear arms trumps the right to feel secure in the local movie theater and also correlates with the right to randomly kill your fellow citizens.

I'm sure the creators of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights would agree. I suppose Christ forgives us all.

William Bolick

Raleigh

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In the July 24 letter “Take up arms,” the writer claims that concealed carry by a citizen in the Aurora, Colo. theatre “could [have taken] that monster down.” This monster was armed with multiple powerful weapons and was wearing protective gear, including a ballistic helmet, a gas mask, a tactical vest, ballistic leggings, metal shin guards and armored boots. The shooter initiated the incident by discharging tear gas into the theatre.

Amidst the chaos, the effects of tear gas and the protective gear, how many bullets fired in self-defense would have been effective? How many would miss their mark, striking others in the audience? How many other citizens near the permit holder would have lost their lives had the shooter sprayed return fire with high-powered weaponry?

It is time this nonsense stops. The real problem here lies in the fact that within 60 days of the incident, an individual legally purchased four powerful weapons, 6,000 rounds of ammunition and equipped himself with protective gear. No questions asked. As long as that exists, our citizenry will not be safe in public places.

Art Kamm
Apex
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Well, a massacre at a movie theater occurred in Aurora, Colo. Immediately, some people want to ban guns. But are guns the reason this happened?

The violence in our movies and on our TVs makes us immune to more violence. My list of bannings starts with violent movies and TV programs. I also would blame the media for giving these killers the 15 minutes of fame they want.

Second, I would recommend one photo and then no more. One mention by name and then call the person by the defining term, murderer. Maybe then no copycats and no 15 minutes of fame.

And, lastly, stop Internet sales of weapons, ammunition and other military and law enforcement products.

Bill Koch
Raleigh

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those who want to have unlimited access to guns and weaponry more important than the rights of the rest of us to expect to be safe in our movie theatres, schools, churches and public places?

If this carnage had been done by a foreign terrorist, would our gun lobbyists be defending him?

Ellen Canavan
Cary

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After the shooting in Colorado, the response of the left and the right was pretty much the same: Both said I told you so.

The left said, “I told you we needed stricter gun laws,” and the right said, “I told you we shouldn’t have those restrictive gun laws.”

The right is right.

The biggest fallacy of gun control is that tight laws will prevent criminals from doing what James Holmes did in Colorado. I hate to point out the obvious, but typically criminals are not particularly scrupulous about keeping the laws.

Gun control laws make sense in theory, but in the real world, they just don’t work. The whole purpose of gun laws is to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of criminals, and I would be thrilled if they did, but they don’t.

Gun control advocates are sort of aiming in the right direction, but they are aiming at an illusion, and they just end up crippling the innocent, law-abiding bystander.

Does it really make that much sense to disarm your law-abiding (innocent) population? It doesn’t protect them from being shot; it leaves them sitting ducks in a shooting gallery.

Andrew Gillingham
Rolesville

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The NCAA, in censuring Penn State, said, “Never again will football be placed above ... protecting young people.” Officials ordered a fund to be set up to protect victims past, present and future.

Is it too much to ask our president, Congress and Supreme Court to use the same wise and moral legal thinking of placing victims – past, present and future – first? It is time to debunk what, tragically and sadly, has become a national culture of guns and a fallacious interpretation of citizens’ rights.

How refreshing it would be to hear national and local governments stand up and proclaim: “Never again will a secondary civil ‘Liberty’ (i.e., gun ownership) or the tertiary ‘Pursuit of Happiness’ (profits from gun and ammunition manufacturing) be placed above the primary right to ‘Life’ – protecting innocent American lives.”

These rights – and the order in which the Founders enumerated them – should be self-evident. When laws, imperfect human constructs, fail to protect the majority of citizens, it is the responsibility of governments to abolish or alter them.

Joe Moran
Durham

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