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    Thinking, and rethinking, guns

    This Wednesday, June 29, 2016, photo shows guns on display at a gun store in Miami. After a gunman killed more than 50 people in Las Vegas in the nation’s latest mass shooting, stocks in the gun industry rose, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
    AP/File 2016
    Firearms on display at a gun store in Miami.

    When will we value life above arsenals?

    What made Stephen Paddock do it? Perhaps nothing more than a grievance in the presence of a culture in which guns and violence are the norm.

    “Guns keep us safe,” they say, over and over. This piece of supposed wisdom has been disproved (see the Scientific American October 2017 issue), but people cite it still — even in the face of glaring headlines to the contrary.

    When will we value life above arsenals? No, there are no guarantees of our safety. Nonetheless, we have mandated safety belts in cars, tobacco-free zones, and alcohol limits when driving because these measures make sense. Is there anyone, other than the police or military, who needs a semiautomatic weapon or more than five guns, for ANY reason? Now more than ever, we need reasonable guidelines.


    Nevada had few mandates for gun ownership other than a meaningless background check. If there had been a ban on assault weapons, the carnage would have been reduced.

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    Let’s not forget that, just as most abuse is domestic, we needn’t look beyond our homeland for the culprit here. We glorify guns and violence at our own peril.

    Hal D. Cash

    South Chatham

    Try to understand how people feel about protecting their gun rights

    I have come so close on several occasions to canceling my Globe subscription because of the relentless far-left bias of your editorial staff. However, I wanted to compliment Alex Kingsbury on his — shockingly for the Globe — balanced column regarding the gun issue (“Fears on both sides stymie debate,” Page A1, Oct. 6). There has to be a middle ground somewhere. Yes, we New Englanders are clueless as to how strongly many responsible people in this country feel about protecting their gun rights. From a larger perspective, we’re clueless about many things outside the bubble of our region (witness Donald Trump’s election). Thanks to Kingsbury for his thoughtful piece on this impossible-to-solve issue.

    Rick Hill


    NRA’s shift is little more than a public-relations move

    Re “Rethinking guns as details emerge” (Page A1, Oct. 6): This is neither “a startling shift” nor a “stunning shift” on the part of the National Rifle Association. The NRA’s move to permit Congress to examine bump stocks is a cynically calculated public-relations ploy to dampen public anger. The NRA gets to appear rational, while, at the same time, giving Congress an out from doing the work needed.

    Registration of firearms, actual knowledge about who has what, funding for studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — no, those won’t be on the table. Legislation on silencers and armor-piercing ammunition — well, let’s not discuss those either. It’s not the time.


    For those who cannot see, it’s all about the optics.

    Ren Knopf