Letters to the Editor

Howard Ellis: A ‘war on guns’ wouldn’t work

The writer of the July 3 letter “No need for these weapons” wrote, regarding semi-automatic rifles, “The answer is for this kind of weapon to be simply unavailable, not in gun shops, not at gun shows, not anywhere.”

I ask, respectfully, has such a ban worked for cocaine, heroin and marijuana? And please don’t tell me that the government hasn’t tried hard enough. We have had a war on drugs for 45 years. The cost has been astronomical and the results depressing.

The cliche is true that if these weapons are made illegal only criminals will have them. All the same killings that were perpetrated by semi-automatic rifles (not very many) could have been committed just as easily with semi-automatic pistols.

About 20 percent of all firearms in the United States are semi-automatic, about 60 million out of 300 million.

Another writer (“Civil liberties vs. gun deaths”) asserted that, “There is not a single civil liberty that justifies the gun deaths of seven young children a day in America.” Does this writer then support stop-and-frisk in high crime neighborhoods, a police tactic that reduces gun crime substantially, especially among young black men? Or is that a violation of a civil liberty that is worth the lives of young children?

Howard Ellis, Wake Forest