Letters to the Editor, Nov. 8, 2017

The police have nothing to do

“Some time ago when I was teaching in China, my students asked me, ‘When we arrive in America where do we buy guns; can we buy guns at the airport?”   

My daughter-in-law, Dr. Carrie Wiebe, currently a professor at Middlebury College in Vermont, was shocked by the question.

“I don’t own a gun; I never needed one, and when you get to America, you won’t need one!”  Stories of gun violence in the United States are rampant in Asia. Carrie’s students were understandably perplexed in spite of her counsel and the fact that according to Pew Research Center, 70 percent of Americans do not own guns.

Nevertheless, the specter of “mass shooting” is haunting. (Such shootings are attacks when four or more people are shot.) Managing Editor Carolyn O’Hara, writes in a letter (The Week, Oct. 13, 2017) “The time between these mass shootings is now measured not in years or in months but in days... Las Vegas was America’s 337th shooting this year.” Noting the cynicism which accompanies such tragedies, the editor describes the event as “a distinctly American ritual.” Most of us, without apology, own dangerous devices which are essential to a complicated life style.

I have a small-bore rifle which I have used occasionally. (Once I finished off a rabid skunk and a couple of years ago, I put down a cat which had been run over).

I also have three chain saws. I use them with extreme caution, primarily for fire wood.  And my wife and I have a fully permitted car. (We have been tested and licensed and drive this deadly device very carefully, about three times a week.)

I plan to get rid of my rusty rifle and will not need assault rifles and anti-tank guns, though permitting these weapons might be simpler than getting a driver’s license.

So what’s all this about?  Let’s stay on track. Please consider this information from The Economist; it may be very relevant. You decide. Evidently crime in Japan has become so rare that police often have nothing to do. In 2015 there was just one gun homicide. Firearms are virtually illegal there.  Australia’s sensible gun restrictions are perhaps more viable for us than Japan’s. They have been extremely successful and have not awakened paranoia among gun owners. Perhaps there is something  we could learn in the light of comparison or have we American men become too castrated and polarized to be held accountable for our actions?

John Wiebe

Trumpo’s rank hypocrisy

Hours after two American citizens and six tourists were tragically killed by an discontented and deranged psychopath who was a Muslim immigrant, President Trumps calls for tighter restrictions on our immigration policy.

One month after a discontented and deranged psychopath who was a older white Christian killed 58 American citizens in Vegas, it’s “still to early” for us to talk about tighter restrictions on firearms.

Richard Salzman

Doran’s dedication appreciated

As an avid reader of the Mad River Union’s quality reporting and content, it is worth giving recognition to Bob Doran for his dedication to the local entertainment scene over the years.

His attention to detail, knowledge of the area, humor and great photos has allowed this area to rejoice in our diversity.

We all love this area with its beauty and its uniqueness.

We all recognize the people that give back to making this area special.

Thanks to Bob Doran for a good run and onward to new challenges.

Robert J Lawton


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