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Voice of the people

Jan. 06, 2013 @ 10:00 PM

Gun control not the solution

As firearms writer, scholar and forensic firearms examiner, with over 30 years in the business, I like to think I know something about it.

Gun control is a fine-sounding idea with two problems: 1. It doesn't work. 2. It's counter-productive. Once a particular item becomes a social problem, it's way past too late to solve it by prohibition. We seem to forget the disaster of the 18th Amendment. Politicians promised wide compliance with the no-alcohol consumption rule. It didn't happen.

Prohibition spawned a nationwide empire of organized crime that did not disappear with repeal.

"Saturday night specials" went away as criminals replaced them with better, more powerful firearms. In Canada handguns have been banned for a long time. Canadian criminals soon found that cut-down rifles and shotguns worked just fine. If we could make the so-called "assault rifles" disappear, substitutes would be found that in mass shootings would serve equally well. While many of the perpetrators are deemed "crazy," they are not all stupid. A recent experience in Norway demonstrated that.

Consider "Oklahoma City" and 9/11. Not a shot fired! Could this be the triumph of gun control? While "assault rifles" have been used and widely publicized in school shootings, most have been done with other types of weapons. Thanks to media coverage, such crimes offer the dangerously deranged the fame they seek.

Since the number of mentally disturbed persons who might be considered dangerous in our society are fewer in number than "assault rifles," it might make better sense to approach the problem from that angle.

Additionally, hardening security at schools makes good sense. Those signs indicating a "gun-free zone" are a safety guarantee for an armed assailant.

C. Rodney James

Athens, Ohio

Inauguration was occasion for hope

After attending the inauguration ceremony for our new mayor, Mr. Steve Williams, I was glad to see and hear from the man I voted for in person. I also enjoyed seeing and listening to the many ministers, City Council members, city leaders, various speakers, singers and the lovely choir.

As a life-long resident of Huntington, I look forward to working with Mayor Williams, City Council members and other city leaders in an effort to improve our great and storied city and its communities.

As a devout Christian, current Marshall University student and recent graduate of Huntington Junior College, I am prepared to do my part by giving my absolute best to the people of Huntington and am very optimistic about our future.

Arley Johnson II

Huntington

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