Letters to the Editor

Statements about guns, owners needs clarification

Regarding the recent article entitled, “Legal gun owners are not the problem.” I have to disagree with the NRA member that recommends prohibitions of specific caliber firearms. The needs of gun owners varies tremendously throughout the whole of our great nation, and the firearms used for sport, competition, personal defense and hunting vary according to those needs.

I have traveled extensively in the U.S. and have used many shooting facilities in my travels. I have witnessed a varying degree of competence among shooters. In my humble opinion, the users should draw the focus, not the firearms. Gun owners that take the responsibility to get “legal,” trained and practice regularly, regardless of caliber, are the wise and the majority. We are not going to rid ourselves of evil. Legislating prohibitions may try to change the definition of who we are as Americans, but will not eliminate the horrid actions of humans focused on murder and creating terror.

The reference in the editorial to “assault weapons” needs clarification. Semi-automatic shotguns used for trap and skeet competitions are not “assault weapons.” Fully-automatic firearms are commonly known as “assault weapons.” The Thompson machine gun is one of those. These types of firearms are strictly regulated by federal law, and very expensive. I have met only a few owners of these in my 66 years. Ownership and use of these select firearms should never be put on the same plane with semi-automatic firearms.

Robert E. Bailey, Maryville