Letters to the Editor

UNDER THE GUN

To the Editor:
Upon reflection on Ray Hartmann's "Commentary" ("Guns and Poses," RFT, May 26), I surmised that the root of the gun-control controversy lies at the perception of how each group views the root cause of gun crime. Quite simply, the gun-control group views the guns -- the objects -- as the cause of evil misdeeds, and the removal or curtailment of their ownership as the solution. The NRA or gun-rights group sees not the object as the problem, but people or, more narrowly, certain types of criminals and their actions as the problem.

Gun control is a crusade of intolerance against a misjudged segment of the citizenry. This is demonstrated not only by the inefficacy of gun control in preventing crime, or by the fact that it focuses on restricting the behavior of the law-abiding rather than apprehending and punishing the guilty, but also by the prejudice that gun-control proponents heap on gun owners and their evil instrumentality, the NRA. Nearly all of the gun-control measures offered by liberals like Ray Hartmann are founded on the belief that America's law-abiding gun owners are the source of the problem. With their unholy desire for firearms, they are creating a society awash in a sea of guns, thereby helping good boys go bad and helping bad boys be worse. This laying of moral blame for violent crime at the feet of the law-abiding, and the implicit absolution of violent criminals for their misdeeds, naturally infuriates honest gun owners.

It is long past time for us to stop fixating on the gun supply and to start dealing with the persons who misuse guns and the social conditions under which innocent babies grow in less than two decades into callous murderers. I challenge everyone to resist gun-control schemes that place the entire weight of condemnation on the very people least likely to misuse their guns. Charlton Heston was correct -- there is a culture war being waged against gun owners. That is why so many of us have joined the NRA (www.nra.org), Gun Owners of America (www.goa.org) or Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (www.jpfo.org). Because we need a unified voice to defend ourselves from unconstitutional punishment and destruction of our rights and way of life.

I have a quote from Benjamin Franklin in my home and posted in my cubicle at work. It quite simply reads: "They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety."

Ron Nerad

To the Editor:
What does the cartoon on page 6 in the April 28 issue mean -- the one where the dead bodies are arranged to spell NRA? Are you saying that the NRA is responsible for some group of deaths? I was unaware that they had killed anyone. The NRA's main focus is the preservation of Second Amendment rights, the right to keep and bear arms. Many times I have seen their objective connected to crime. It is not. Owning weapons does not make one a criminal -- 99.9 percent of gun owners in the U.S. have never committed a crime worse than a traffic ticket.

The right to keep and bear arms is meant to prevent the government from becoming a tyranny. As long as the common citizen can rebel in force, the government will not be able to exercise complete control. I am not saying that we need to overthrow the present government, but should it become necessary, as it has in the past, we have not only the right but the obligation to be ready to do so.

I am a NRA member. Before you conclude that this means that I am a right-wing radical, let me add that I also contribute money to Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Federation and the Sierra Club. I enjoy the freedom to be able to do so. If you enjoy your freedoms, you should give some thought to just how you intend to protect them. Do you honestly believe that you could convince an Idi Amin, Pol Pot or Adolf Hitler to give up their evil ways using only rhetoric?

Rodney R. Fain

FOOD FIGHT

To the Editor:
I was surprised by the discontent to malice shown by readers of the new food critic, Jill Posey-Smith. Perhaps if one could read a few more articles before making her into mincemeat enjoyment of her wit would be more likely. Posey-Smith is not like other food critics, but I believe there is room in The Riverfront Times, a paper that boasts of open-minded readers, for such an interesting style and obviously well-educated writer. We have more things to do than fight such a change with overdone animosity. She is not trying to blow up the world; she is merely writing in a very clever style. Obviously, readers did find themselves digesting the article. Take a little Zantac and relax.

Carole Lemire

To the Editor:
I was very happy to see the May 26 RFT issue held a restaurant review from Joe Bonwich. I was afraid that you had lost him and even more afraid that we would be subjected to the self-important, look-at-how-many-words-I-can-use-to-say-"I hated it" Jill Posey-Smith. She doesn't just focus on the negative of a restaurant, she magnifies it and beats the owner to death with it and then offers a back-handed compliment to try to "round out" her review. Doesn't work.

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