This is in response to "Where are the responsible gun owners?" By Alfred Brock in the Feb. 12 issue.
According to Mr. Brock's signature line, he obviously isn't a resident of the area. In fact, it would seem he isn't even a resident of this planet. It would appear his reality is nowhere close to the reality of most intelligent or logical people. Otherwise, he would know many of the same gun owners I knew when I lived there.
This scathing rant by an individual is based solely on some sort of hot-headed finger pointing - albeit in the wrong direction, concocted in an attempt to produce another black mark in the eyes of the public against responsible citizens and gun owners. And throwing the NRA into the mix is a feeble attempt to cast blame upon a group of individuals who had absolutely nothing to do with the sick people who perform these actions. When was the last time anyone has heard of an NRA member going nuts and firing at a group of innocent people?
The NRA promotes safe and responsible gun ownership. It does not promote possession of firearms illegally, or by people who have no business having them.
The scribe of the letter fails to mention that Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois University, the Omaha mall, even Columbine high school are "gun free" zones. This means that responsible, law-abiding gun owners were forbidden to possess firearms anywhere on the property of these places. Had they been able to, chances are there wouldn't have been near the loss of life that there was.
As an example, the volunteer security guard on duty at the church in Colorado Springs did have a weapon in her possession and was able to slow down, if not stop the gunman before he was able to take the lives of an unknown number of other victims.
There are many people who would like nothing more than to 'mow down' a few drug dealers, psychos and miscreants. These people are also responsible enough to not take the law into their own hands. Responsible gun owners use weapons to defend their lives, their loved ones and when necessary, their property. They know that they are only to use their weapons legally for hunting or for self defense, not for hunting down other people who - like them - are under the protection of the same laws. As much as some good people would like to stop illegal and deadly activities before they start, they also realize they are not law enforcement personnel or vigilantes.
It's too bad that people like Mr. Brock think the way they do. They think that somehow the gun is responsible for the deaths of these people. They fail to take into consideration that it is the person firing the weapon that is solely responsible.
Had these killers not used a gun, chances are they could or would have found some other means of performing these deadly acts. There have been arsonists, bomb makers, cars driving into crowds, hijackers, polluters and so on. You name a way to kill innocent people and someone has probably already thought of it. And possession of a gun wasn't a requirement.