Just a note to tell you that I appreciated what I thought was a well-balanced piece on your experience at the firing range ("Girls & Guns," March 7). The editor stated clearly that the piece wasn't designed to debate some of the contentious issues associated with guns. Nonetheless, there was a line in Ailen Arreaza's piece that I felt compelled to respond to. It was this line: "I can't imagine a situation — apart from the zombie apocalypse — when someone would need that many bullets."
Good news! You don't have to imagine it. A simple history lesson provides about 80 million "situations" where innocent civilians could have used all the bullets they could lay their hands on. Eighty million is an estimate of the number of civilians killed by their own genocidal governments in Turkey, the Soviet Union, Nazi-occupied Germany/Europe, Nationalist and Red China, Guatemala, Uganda, the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and Rwanda — all between 1915 and 1995. All of those governments had severe limitations on gun ownership for their citizens. You see, it's much easier to execute (pun intended) genocide when there are no guns pointing back at you. By the way, 80 million is the estimate for just the 20th century — doesn't take much imagination to see which way the number goes as you travel further back in time.
The founders of our country had all experienced the deadly power of a tyrannical government. When your own government has the potential to come at you with "that many bullets," the only effective check/balance is a populace that has the right to arm themselves similarly. That's why the founders built that particular right into the Constitution. As tragic as events like the craziness that Adam Lanza perpetrated in Newtown are, the simple truth is that an event like that pales in comparison to what can be perpetrated by a tyrannical government. And given the steady erosion of liberty that has occurred in this country, especially over the last 50 years, a tyrannical government is the "situation" we should all be concerned about and prepared for.
Thanks for advancing the dialogue with thoughtful pieces like "Girls & Guns."
— Michael Yount, Charlotte
In a poll published on our news and culture blog The CLog, we asked: "Do you support the assault weapon ban?" Here's what a few readers had to say:
The "assault weapon" ban is poorly conceived, poorly defined, and will have absolutely no effect on anything except the rights of law-abiding citizens.
— Kirk Thayer
No One on this planet ..needs assault weapons except the military and swat teams..thats it ..Period!
— Denise Palandri Birckbichler
There is no such thing as an assault weapon and people who use that term do not have a clear picture of what that term really means. If gun control worked to the levels that this new revised gun ban, Chicago would be crime, and murder free.
— Kevin Horn
Letters to the editor should be sent to email@example.com and include your first and last name and what city you reside in. Letters are subject to editing for space.