Readers respond to previous issues

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Freedom’s call
I was just reading your article “Gun Crazy” by Don Catalano [Odd Dominion, January 25] and was stunned to hear how liberal Virginia is relative to gun laws. It is truly disgusting. My wife and I attended the screening of the film Freedom Riders last week at the Paramount. It was amazing to see the committment to the cause that these people had, to ride throughout the South in the early ’60’s, challenging discrimination. Perhaps that kind of committment is needed in these gun law cases. Perhaps we need many outraged citizens to simply, quietly and legally march into county offices, state and federal buildings, all of them legally carrying weapons (unloaded of course) of all varieties in plain sight. What would our lawmakers think of that? The only guns permitted to be owned by private citizens should be for hunting and self protection. Self protection must not include the use of semi-automatic or automatic weapons, or any weapons that could be converted to such use. Guns are far too easy to use in tense situations, and their effect is too damaging to humans, as we have seen, over and over and over…

Andy Beath
Charlottesville

Legal weapon
In your final paragraph of “Gun Crazy,” you say, “We accept that we are on the losing end of this issue, at least for now. According to Gallup, nearly half of all Americans remain convinced that owning a gun makes them safer, despite all evidence to the contrary, and our powers of persuasion just aren’t strong enough to change that.”

But let’s look at the 50 percent who feel that Americans do not need the right to protect themselves and their families with a weapon when confronted with an actual or attempted crime. The mainstream media has done an impressive job of keeping actual reports of private citizens lawfully using their guns to stop and prevent more serious crimes.

Look back to 2008 at the shooting at Appalachian Law school in Grundy, Virginia. A student came on to campus, a “Gun-free” environment, shooting and killing three people and injuring three other people. This student, who disregarded the “Gun-free” environment, broke that law and I am sure had little concern regarding that law. He was only stopped from killing, injuring more because of two other students who went to their vehicles and retrieved their legal weapons and confronted the killer who promptly gave up. Out of the 208 news stories, only four stories reported that the killer was confronted and subdued by the two armed students…

And then there is the story back in Richmond where a armed gunman came into the Golden Food market intending to rob the place and found the owner and eight other people. The criminal ended up shooting the owner two times and was only stopped by a patron who had his own weapon and instructed the criminal to drop his weapon. After the criminal refused the patron shot the criminal, took the criminals gun, and called the police. It is also reported that other people in the store told the armed patron to “finish off the robber” but he refused to do so.

The issue is that the mainstream media, and media such as the C-VILLE, choose not to report these stories and many other examples of legal citizens protecting themselves with legal weapons…

I would welcome “common sense” tighter restrictions on gun permits and increased training requirements but I fear the efforts of groups who fail to report the entire story regarding lawful private gun ownership. Imagine what the percentage of “Americans convinced that owning a gun makes them safer” would be if the whole story was reported?

I urge the C-VILLE staff to come back and run a story regarding the many times, estimated at hundred-thousands of times annually, where lawful private citizens use their legal guns to prevent crime and murder…

Steve Kijak
Stuarts Draft

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