LETTERS: On gun control and RGV Olympian

Gun control debated

Perhaps if the framers of the Constitution would have known about the carnage done by citizens toward other citizens using high-powered rifles and/or semi-automatic weapons, they would have specified that only handguns or files with single shot capabilities could be used by citizens.

Perhaps if the National Rifle Association (NRA) would not contribute money to legislators and lobbyists then they wouldn’t be bought and compelled to favor the NRA and the manufacturing of high-powered weapons for the public.

Perhaps if lawmakers would not accept contributions from the NRA then they would not be dictated as to how to vote in the matter of gun control.

Perhaps if Congress were to pass laws prohibiting the manufacture and acquisition of semi-automatic weapons at gun or pawn shops then the massacre of citizens would be diminished.

Perhaps if the 5 million members of the NRA would channel their thinking and understand that the Second Amendment would still be retained, if there are reforms, as long as handguns or rifles could be still used for hunting.

Perhaps if people who still have access to high-powered weapons would know that the government would not step in and confiscate their weapons then they would be more at ease.

Perhaps if the government passes laws to prohibit gun shops from selling guns of mass destruction and to monitor such stores to ensure they abide by laws, that there would finally be gun control.

Perhaps if there would be strict laws, including background checks on everyone, then this would minimize mass killings.

Perhaps if the president of the United States and other national and state leaders would be sensitive to the fact that all lives matter then the rhetoric of giving condolences and blaming the killing on the mentally ill would not suffice. Enough is enough!

Pete Romero, McAllen

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There are several websites that track violence committed with guns including: massshootingtracker.org, gunviolencearchive.org, andshootingtracker.com. They track instances where four or more people are shot. There does not have to be fatalities with instances of gun violence to be included in the lists of “mass shootings.” If the perpetrator commits suicide he/she is also included in the numbers. Firearms used are BB guns, pellet guns, pistols, rifles and shotguns. The victims are shot as a result of drug deals gone bad, drive-by shootings, police/criminal shootings, workplace violence, school shootings, gang violence, neighbor arguments, reason unknown, and a very large percentage are the result of domestic home violence.

I agree with a recent letter by Ned Sheats who said every child should be taught the dangers of a gun. That should begin at home, hopefully where there is a stable, law-abiding family atmosphere with good moral values.

The NRA has had a child gun safety program in place since 1988. It is called the “Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program.” When a child sees a gun they are instructed to: “Stop! Don’t Touch! Run Away! Tell a Grown-up!” They have a video in cartoon format that teaches gun safety to children. Anyone can go to eddieeagle.nra.org to view it.

I disagree, however, with Sheats saying the National Guard and police forces should be our “well disciplined militia.” That was not our Founding Fathers’ intent. Well disciplined private citizens should be our militia. The original intent of the Second Amendment is for private citizens to defend themselves against a tyrannical government. Law-abiding American citizens should be able to own firearms just like citizens did during the Revolutionary War and after. Those firearms included muskets, shotguns, pistols, and rifles — including the 1779 Girandoni repeating rifle, and 1718 automatic fire ‘Puckle Gun’.

Darrell Williams Sr., McAllen

I’m ‘not proud’ of him

To Opinion Editor Sandra Sanchez: I dispute in your Feb. 18 column “Our RGV Olympian has made us so proud,” that “everyone” in the Rio Grande Valley was proud of the performance of “our” Olympic cross-country athlete. I think the performance of German Madrazo was, at best, a (well-intentioned) farce and, at worst, a case of seeking (along with his training partner, the Tonga “shirtless” guy) 15 minutes of fame. Bear in mind that his time (while finishing in last place) was almost 3 minutes per mile slower than the winning time. That would be like finishing almost 1.5 hours after the winner in a marathon. I would venture to say that every legitimate competitor in the cross-country skiing field could easily accomplish that time with minimal training. So why not open the Olympic marathon to all those gentlemen, or the tens of thousands of people who could meet those standards? As our hero’s “qualification” apparently necessitated participation in eight events spread across the globe there was a concomitant amount of time and money required for this endeavor. Hopefully it was not time or money his family needed. Glorifying these “quests” only encourages others to follow. Witness also Elizabeth Swaney the American “Hungarian” who finished in last place after “competing” in the half-pipe (without even attempting to do any tricks). She, like our “hero,” just had to find a country to which they have some connection and that didn’t have any real interest in the sport.

Jim McNamara, McAllen

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