I respectfully disagree with Mr. Tom Backhus of Eagle-Vail, who starts his letter calling those who are pro-gun "Wyatt Earps." So to begin with, not a very mature response. Maybe he should voluntarily turn in his shotgun and high-powered hunting rifle. Perhaps he should drive to Los Angeles with those weapons and get himself a government-bought gift card for one-eighth the value of those firearms.
I believe the answer to the Connecticut school shooting is addressing societal and mental health issues. This is not a gun issue, as many would like to claim. We do not value life as we should (e.g., abortion), and this is reflected in today's society.
Mr. Backhus mentions the Aurora shooting, which happened in a gun-free zone. All these gun-free zones do is notify a criminal with evil intentions that the employees and patrons of that establishment will not be armed. This does not work, as we have seen time and time again.
Americans have every right to purchase and own firearms (granted as long as they pass a background check, are not a felon, etc.). Let's enforce existing U.S. gun laws and crack down on gang activity and gun-running. Heck, our very own government sent weapons to Mexican drug cartels, and now we should turn in our guns to this very same government? What a joke. The Second Amendment protects us against the very government that is supposed to protect us.
Lastly, why are automatic weapons being targeted when semi-automatic weapons have been used in these tragedies? For being a gun owner, I am surprised Mr. Backhus doesn't know the difference. Or perhaps he does and just decided to jump on the gun-banning bandwagon.
This just goes to show that those without knowledge of firearms are the ones who want to crack down on and ban certain weapons. The Second Amendment not only protects me from criminals, it also protects me from a tyrannical government. The government should fear the people. The people should not fear the government.
For those who are anti-gun and pro-gun control, I have an idea: Simply don't own them, turn them in if you do, and depend on the government for your safety. And as Mr. Backhus would say: "Good luck with that."
Paul M. Gallagher