Gun owners can help ?deter criminal activity

In a supreme demonstration of selfishness, young James Holmes slaughtered and wounded dozens of moviegoers in Aurora, Colo.

Earlier that day, the deterrent to such evil was graphically demonstrated in another news event from Florida. The attempted robbery of an Internet cafe by two young thugs wearing hoodies and baggy pants was truncated by a 71-year-old man dressed in a T-shirt and shorts. The security camera video shows grandpa patiently waiting for his opportunity to override the safety of his small-caliber handgun, get a clear shot and fire at least three rounds at the armed criminals. The young hoodlums scurried off wounded, with nothing to show for their bravado. They will think twice about doing it again. No one else was hurt.

If grandpa (or another responsible mom or dad) had been at the movies in Aurora, then a shot or two to the gas mask would have stopped Holmes in his tracks and saved a lot of heartache. I'm not a member of the National Rifle Association, but if there were an active chapter of the NRA in Aurora, we might not be grieving with all of those families. Intelligent folks wrote the U.S. Constitution, which gave us the right to own and bear arms – not to make us a bunch of outlaws, but to help us respond to them. Clever criminals will always be able to acquire guns. As a responsible public, we need to help them think twice about using them.

Lewis James

Clarence Center


High bullet capacity? must be addressed

Once again, people are suffering from the effects of a mad gunman who goes into a crowd and kills and injures massive numbers of people. On Long Island, it was on a crowded commuter train. In Virginia, it was on a college campus. In Arizona, it was at Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' meeting and now it has happened at a movie house.

Obviously each killer had a unique situation that led to the carnage, but there is one aspect that is common to each. At the risk of offending the NRA, it is this – every shooter was heavily armed with guns that had extremely high bullet capacity, ranging from 20 rounds to a high of 100!

Now, I personally own a single-shot .22-caliber rifle and a single-shot 12-gauge shotgun. I would have to reload after two shots. But the killers in the cases mentioned did not have to stop and reload very often. New York wisely limits the size of ammo magazines, but that is cold comfort to the folks targeted across the country.

I want to hear a logical and sane reason why there should not be limits on this firepower. I am not asking for limited sales of AR-15 rifles, etc., just a reasonable limit on the nonstop firing of such weapons.

Seriously, do real hunters need 100 shots to bring down their prey? I want to hear the NRA defense of this insanity.

Robert W. Snyder

Clarence Center


People must be able? to protect loved ones

At the risk of being accused of politicizing the tragedy in Colorado, maybe it's the right time to ask: Would things have been different if normal, responsible people were sitting in that movie theater with firearms? It is a difficult and uncomfortable question because we have to accept the fact that neither we nor our families are ever truly safe. Nobody wakes up in the morning knowing he will be the victim of a crime. We blindly embrace the false sense of security a police force gives us. False because, as much respect as the men in blue deserve, they are not mind readers. The police will diligently investigate a crime after the fact.

The FBI estimates there are more than 200 million privately owned firearms in this country. The gun control advocates espouse that banning firearms is the answer. Any attempt to initiate such a ban or make firearms harder to legally obtain would only place more firearms in the hands of criminals. People have to decide for themselves if they are doing the most they can to protect their loved ones. In the wake of all the tears in Colorado, I wonder how many people are asking themselves if they are doing enough?

Bob Pfeiffer



Founders never envisioned? power of today's weapons

Yes, the Constitution says we have the right to bear arms. But those were 18th century weapons – muskets, for the most part, cumbersome, time-intensive single-shot guns. The Founding Fathers probably couldn't envision the Colt revolver, shotguns, Remingtons or even BB guns, much less the guns and ammo available now, both legally and illegally. What possible use does a hunter have for a semi-automatic? For an assault rifle with drum magazines capable of firing dozens of rounds a minute?

ABC's "Nightline" showed the usual post-tragedy scary statistics about the number of guns in American households. But we know "guns don't kill people – people do." Yes, it was James Holmes who is accused of killing 12 and injuring nearly five dozen more in Colorado.

Before him it was One Goh in Oakland, Cho Seung-Hui at Virginia Tech, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold at Columbine, Jared Lee Loughner in Tucson. There are too many examples of these killers who bore arms; buying them legally or illegally, it doesn't really matter. They used guns that were fantastical and unimaginable when the Second Amendment was written. They used weaponry that can kill and wound people in clusters, dozens in mere minutes, people not even in the same room – quickly and efficiently.

When is the best time to talk about gun control? We can hope before the next tragedy. We should do it taking a fuller look at what kind of arms we want in our homes and neighborhoods.

Joyce Kessel



Romney's record shows? a successful businessman

A recent writer finds that to support Mitt Romney is inconceivable. He cites several aspects of Romney's financial status and infers that he is not much of a patriot for not "keeping his money in the United States." He also finds it hard to understand how the average worker can benefit from these activities and says they are not designed to create jobs. Isn't that quite a spin to describe a very successful businessman who has created innumerable jobs? And he did it with his dollars, not taxpayer dollars! These accusations and distortions are no more than devious tactics to distract attention away from the importance of the many more serious issues. The Obama campaign is sending an insincere, convoluted message to the voters to disguise Obama's three and a half years of failure in the Oval Office.

Outsourcing work to other countries has been going on since the late 1970s. We've lost manufacturing jobs and become more "service oriented." A good business investor can create more jobs, but bigger government – with its numerous rules, restrictions and taxes – cannot.

All the writer needs to do in order to understand why many of us middle-class Americans are in favor of Romney being our next president is to take a hard look at Obama's performance.

Romney may not be as charming as Obama, or as good at making theatrical speeches, but we don't need that. We need someone competent, like a successful businessperson with a proven track record. Isn't it about time for some real change?

Dave Roth



Bicyclists and runners? should avoid busy roads

I am writing in response to Bruce Andriatch's column, "There ought to be a law to keep me safe." Walkers, bicyclists and now runners are all crying about sharing the road with cars and trucks.

Seems to me that the roads are built with automobile traffic mostly in mind and a little common sense would simply apply. Why would we need yet another unenforceable law on the books in an effort to legislate other people's stupidity? Runners and bicyclists should pick roads with wide shoulders and a time of day when traffic is very light, not during rush hour.

My advice would be if you like to run without worry, then go to your local high school track and run. You paid for it with tax dollars and, more important, it's designed specifically for running and you won't need a law to protect you.

Frank Coloprisco



County cannot afford? to keep Buffalo Bills

After reading the last few articles on the county's budget problems, I have to wonder when our leaders are going to wake up and stop the lunacy of negotiating a contract with the Bills. The county is out of money to fund essentials and infrastructure and has to raise our taxes, but it persists in the idea of trying to keep the football team here at a cost of millions of dollars of our tax money.

Does it make any sense for the many to pay for the so-called entertainment of a few? There are those who say we need the team here for the regional prestige and social value. The only value that I see here is the fattening of Ralph Wilson's wallet, at a great cost to the taxpayer. This whole issue should be put to a referendum vote so that all of us can have our say, as supposedly guaranteed to us by the Constitution. As it stands now, a few are deciding for us costly issues without our input.

Tom Mroz



Bus monitor rewarded? for failing to do her job

The whole subject of Karen Klein puzzles me. Why was she on the bus? I thought bus monitors were there to at least attempt to keep order. Yet she sat there for 10 minutes and did nothing about the boys' abuse. If she could not restore order, she should have asked the driver to stop the bus until they were under control. I do not think she should be rewarded for a job that she was undoubtedly unqualified for and could not do. I hope she gives some of her money to somebody who deserves it.

Marjorie Benton