On level-headed approach to gun control
I found the two lead-off letters in your Jan. 29 edition very interesting in the way they mirrored the alarmist vs. realist tone of a similar pair of letters you published in July.
At that time Mr. Michael Hurd's right-wing rant about the evils of "Obamacare" was answered by a very reasonable reaction to the Affordable Care Act by Mr. Jeffrey Fried of Beebe Medical Center. Your recent edition has the same Mr. Hurd spouting warped warnings against widely accepted proposals that would reduce gun violence; fortunately his letter was followed by common-sense comments from gun owner Gerald E. Wingate Sr.
Mr. Hurd first equates gun control with "gun confiscation," ignoring the fact that no realistic American advocates that guns be taken from legal owners. Later he states that some gun control advocates "view gun ownership as something akin to, if not worse than, abuse of heroin and cocaine." Such extremist accusations do nothing to advance reasonable solutions to gun violence.
Mr. Wingate's letter, on the other hand, was a shining example of the middle-of-the-road opinions of the vast majority of Americans who believe in protecting gun ownership while seeking sane compromises designed to make us safer. I won't repeat Mr. Wingate's clear-eyed observations about this complex problem here, but I do urge your readers to go back and re-read his letter on page 7 of the Jan. 29 issue. When I read such comments from a former police officer and current gun owner, I feel encouraged that those of us who favor level-headed solutions do in fact have a chance at achieving them. I feel quite the opposite when I read the scaremongering views spouted by people like Mr. Hurd.