Enough is enough on lack of action over gun control

Gabrielle Giffords. Jesse Jackson Jr. Gun control. Mental health. 

Within less than two years, Congress itself has been touched by both issues that most likely coalesced to produce the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In 2012 alone, there were seven mass shootings in the U.S. 

Yet in the aftermath of the latest devastation, members of Congress, with the exception of Rep. Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyRepublicans refuse to back opioids bill sponsored by vulnerable Dem Dem lawmaker calls on Fox News to fire Hannity Overnight Energy: Former Pruitt aide alleges more wasteful spending, retaliation | Senate confirms EPA No. 2 | Zinke backs off big park fee increases MORE (D-Va.), appear reticent — no, afraid — to speak out against the position of the NRA and call for targeted legislation. 

Meanwhile, all around the country their constituents are regularly being mowed down in increasing numbers and more frequently.  This elementary school massacre should be recognized and treated as a tipping point, and those on the Hill would be wise to be more responsive to the growing backlash coming from those they are elected to serve, rather than the lobbyists whose campaign financing already this past election failed to overcome groundswells of voter sentiment. Enough is enough.

From Ann DeLuca, Alexandria, Va.

Semi-automatics not the problem, size of clips are

As a gun owner, the call for a ban on assault weapons is not an answer to this unbearable violence. Semi-automatic refers to the ejection and loading of a weapon. 

Assault rifles are semi-automatic, as are most handguns and many rifles used for hunting, self-protection or sport. The problem isn’t that they are semi-automatic, it is the size and capacity of clips used for them. 

The shooter in Newtown, Conn., had two handguns that were semi-automatic, meaning one round ejects and a new round feeds. They each contained 13-round clips. The rifle, a civilian version of the fully automatic military rifle M-16, which was used extensively during the Vietnam War era, probably had a standard 30-round clip. The problem is the number of rounds that can be rapidly fired without changing clips.

We should limit capacity to no more than five-round clips and many, many lives will be saved. The shape and form of a military style rifle is not going to save lives. The banning of clips containing more than five rounds is.

From Norm Stewart, Aventura, Fla.

Nothing to smile about  over the ‘fiscal cliff’ deal

I am appalled by the photographs accompanying the so-called resolution to the “fiscal cliff.” The smiles and smug demeanors of lawmakers, the VP and others indicating some great triumph belies the truth of the matter.

Had this been the work of a Wells Fargo Boardroom, or a small business dealing with a liquidity crisis, the lenders would have called in the note and liquidated the risk as best as possible. The delusional autocrats have simply deferred, once again, acknowledging the reality that the government is too big, the costs are too large and that the USA is unable to sustain this model of a big-spending government committed to giving away the farm at both ends of the fiscal spectrum, with entitlement programs that are not impacted by this so-called settlement and the spending on big-ticket and foreign adventures that are simply slowed down by two months.

From John Greaves, Dubai, UAE

NJ, NY residents should withhold taxes over aid

Since pledges regarding taxes are in vogue, here’s a pledge idea regarding the bill that stalled in the House: everybody in the areas stricken by Sandy (including all of New Jersey and New York) should pledge to withhold their federal income taxes unless an aid package is passed, and passed now. After all, it’s the people’s money. If the House doesn’t have the decency or will to do the morally right thing, let’s see how fast they act on this bill if they are faced with losing billions in the federal coffers. The arrogance of some politicians in Washington reflects how out of touch they are and how much they value wallowing in money.

From Lynn Crigler

We should be ashamed of the tragedy in Newtown

I pose this question to every member of our elected government, as well as to all members — and especially lobbyists — of the NRA:  Had any of those children in Newtown, Conn., been your children or your grandchildren, would your opinion regarding gun control be the same today as it was a week ago?

 And to all Americans: Do you really think this is what Thomas Jefferson and his colleagues had in mind when they insisted on every American’s inalienable right to bear arms?  Do you think in their wildest imaginations that they perceived guns with the capability that they have today?

We should all be ashamed.

From Janis McDonald, Pittsburgh