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Opinion >  Letters

Letters for Saturday, June 18, 2022

This ranks as organized terrorism

When mentally and emotionally unstable young men in Iraq or Nigeria are given guns or explosives by older, self-appointed religious patriots in order to commit massacres in schools, marketplaces, or places of worship, no one doubts this is organized terrorism. How about here in the U.S.?

Politicians and media say we must accept as the price of our freedom the ongoing sabotage of our democracy, our social fabric, our institutions of government, and indeed our entire society altogether by a minority of supposedly Christian but more obviously white supremacist right-wing Republicans. Their ultimatum is that if they can’t have the version of America they want, then they are willing to destroy our nation to block the “more perfect union” envisioned by the writers of the U.S. Constitution.

How else to make sense of millions of American citizens refusing to accept the outcome of an election they wished had gone their way? Or, refusing to get vaccinated against a pandemic disease that has killed well over 1 million of us? Or denying women ownership of their own bodies, and supporting the de facto slavery of forced childbirth? Or, recruiting and radicalizing (yes, “grooming”) anti-social teenagers via internet-based hate campaigns, then giving them weapons of easy mass murder?

Chris Norden

Moscow, Idaho

AR-15 designed as assault weapon

In response to Mr. Smith’s June 8 letter (“School Shootings in Texas”), he selectively picked “facts” to justify the civilian use of AR-15 and similar weapons. The precursor to the M16 is the AR-15, originally designed as an assault rifle, firing high-velocity small-caliber cartridges. Colt, at the request of the U.S. military, subsequently modified the AR-15 design, becoming the M16. Suggesting that the AR-15 is a civilian rather than an assault weapon is disingenuous at best.

A 22LR bullet typically weighs between 30-40 grams; the .223 bullet comes in between 45 to 70 grams. But the biggest difference is muzzle velocity. The muzzle velocity of a 22LR is between 1,100-1,200 feet per second. At up to 3,300 fps, the velocity of the .223 is up to three times that. As the energy is proportionate to the square of the velocity, a .223 will have up to nine times more energy than the 22LR, not even taking into account that the .223 is up to 15 grams heavier.

Now consider the impact of your 10-year-old son deliberately throwing a baseball directly at your chest. Now imagine a professional baseball pitcher throwing a fastball traveling at 95 miles per hour from the same distance. The first you would hardly feel – the second you will end up with bruised, if not broken, ribs. So let’s quit being delusional – the AR-15 is an assault weapon, it’s original design and intent to maim and kill other human beings.

Gary Klingsporn


A comparison

I would like to make a comparison between guns and cars. Both can be considered weapons of mass destruction, and they have been used that way. The difference is that to drive a car, you need to be instructed on how to drive the car and follow the rules so we can all share the road. Many responsible adults willingly accept the rules so they do not lose the privilege to drive.

In some areas of our nation, guns are available without instruction, licensing and how to handle the gun responsibly. I feel many people are and can be responsible gun owners. Responsible gun owners will follow the necessary steps to own a gun. When the Second Amendment was written, guns were to be used to protect property and I only can assume not for killing of innocent children and adults. It is important to look at the realistic facts of how guns have taken over our society and used as a means to solve problems or demonstrate anger for people who are not thinking about anything but themselves.

With cars, we can’t know what is going on in a person’s head until it’s too late. Same with murderers using guns – we can never know who will do these acts, but with a combination of gun control and mental health programs, we can begin to restore our nation to be a better place to feel proud of.

Sheryl Piskel


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