Let's get control of our guns! We need to control who has guns, who buys them and how the "bad guys" get their guns. I am a Republican, have a couple of guns and believe in the Second Amendment. I offer a few suggestions.
First, control gun sales, especially outside stores. At a small flea market over the weekend, I saw two guys selling guns openly across their tables. Are the guns sold registered and sold to law-abiding people? Is this legal? I wish I would have asked.
Second, every gun sale should be registered. More important, for guns resold or given as a gift, the title should be transferred. We require this when we sell automobiles; why not when guns (which are meant to kill) are sold? There should be penalties for previous owners when guns used in crimes aren't transferred properly.
Third, manage ammunition sales. While bad guys still have guns, make it difficult to use them. Young people have to show ID when buying alcohol or cigarettes; let's require proof of title before selling ammunition.
These suggestions aren't a cure-all and are not perfect, but every little bit helps. What do we have to lose but more lives? We have speed limit signage that doesn't stop speeding, but it certainly governs driving better.
Let's learn from others who took control and saw incredible results. For example, google what happened in Scotland when they enacted gun control after a mass school murder in 1996. Let's address the situation now!
STEVE KAHAT, Lino Lakes
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This could have been avoided if every concertgoer had brought along a similar semi-automatic assault weapon to the show ("Las Vegas high-rise hotel sniper kills at least 58 at outdoor concert," StarTribune.com, Oct. 2). Or so the usual National Rifle Association logic goes.
ANNE BAYNTON, Roseville
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As the NRA is always quick to point out in dozens of different ways: "Guns don't kill people. People do!" But what the NRA never seems to address, ever, is the notion that the NRA is responsible for wholeheartedly supporting and defending business interests that promote a culture of gun violence. It is responsible for supporting businesses that stand to gain from intentionally induced fear, anxiety and paranoia. (Barack Obama is going to take our guns from us and tax our ammunition.) It is responsible for supporting business interests that advocate for the need for ordinary citizens to arm themselves with military-grade weapons, including high-powered rifles and large-capacity magazines.
The NRA is not responsible for violent video games and the gun violence we see at the movies. If video games and movies inspire people to buy guns, then business interests supported by the NRA are just fulfilling a public demand for guns. In doing so, the NRA is pointing out that our demand for guns is really a much larger cultural problem that needs to be addressed. However, the NRA is clearly responsible for doing everything it can to support business interests in whose interest it is to see that this enormous problem never gets solved. If gun violence is a threat to our national security, then the NRA and the business interests it supports are a threat to our national security, too.
The NRA is not responsible. It is highly irresponsible, and as long as our Constitution is all about rights and not about responsibilities, the dysfunction created by the NRA will prevail.
JOHN MATTSEN, New Brighton
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Before the NRA starts to pontificate that "if only" the housemaid was armed in the Mandalay Bay hotel, the carnage of 50-plus dead and 500-plus wounded by a madman with 10-plus weapons could have been stopped, let us take a moment to grieve the incredible loss of life and honor the victims and their families. This is a very sad day in America. Not only for the horror of the Las Vegas massacre but the horror of this repeated scenario made possible by our easy access to weapons of mass destruction.
CATHERINE JORDAN, Minneapolis
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I am an 85-year-old army veteran, lifelong hunter and avid gun enthusiast. I can attest to the fact that military-style assault weapons are not designed for traditional hunting or target shooting but only for killing people, as evidenced again this week in Las Vegas. There can be no justification for the continued manufacture and sale of these weapons to the general public. If nothing is done to prohibit these weapons, we will surely suffer more of these mass shooting tragedies.
Glen Nordgaard, Savage
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Gun-rights advocates will accuse me of being one of those folks who take advantage of tragedies to scream about gun rights. Guilty. It seems this is the only time really hard questions get asked in a public setting.
As they should, politicians will get up, express their horror and offer words of support and prayers for all affected. We expect this, and it's the right thing to do. But it's not enough, and it avoids the obvious.
The president, all 100 senators and all 435 U.S. representatives owe us something more. Every one of them needs to get in front of a camera and interpret the Second Amendment in the context of this tragedy. Answer this question: How are your constituents, your state and your country better off because weapons like those used in Las Vegas are manufactured and available for purchase?
JEFF PARKER, Chanhassen
After hurricane, president fails to show leadership
Puerto Rico: no power, no water, homes in shambles — asking for assistance to keep the people alive.
Our president: at his golf club calling them basically lazy and not helping themselves.
I see that as a total lack of compassion, integrity and humanity as well as a lack of leadership abilities that is truly astounding.
True leaders step up to the plate, make the correct calls to aid a suffering people and show a modicum of human decency, compassion and support. It is not always about you, Mr. President. Think about others once in a while, please?
Susan Parham, Edina
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Trump's response to the disaster in Puerto Rico brings to mind what used to be said of Richard Nixon: He's the sort of person who, seeing a man drowning 20 feet away, throws him a 10-foot rope and says, "I met you halfway."
Richard A. Virden, Plymouth
We'll welcome a little extra help
My wife, Nancy, passed away in March of this year. She grew up in Edina, and thanks to Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva and Rod Carew, she was a lifelong Minnesota Twins fan. We were at Game 7 in 1987 when the guy sitting next to us threw a stuffed monkey onto the field at the end of the game to symbolize getting the monkey off the back of Minnesota. I've missed watching Twins games with her this summer a lot, especially with their unexpected return to the playoffs. Although during this miraculous summer of baseball, it sometimes seemed to me that Nancy, wherever she is, provided an extra push to help the Twins make a catch or get a hit to win one or two extra games. To Nancy and all of the other departed Twins fans who passed away in the past year, I have one more tiny favor to ask of you. Please help us get one more win against the Yankees on Tuesday night. Thank you.
JERRY GALE, Brooklyn Park