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Letters to the editor, January 8

Killing machines

Since the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., the vast majority of Americans finally realized that we have a gun problem.

As we begin discussing what to do, I believe we must first understand that guns are designed and manufactured to kill living beings. Many guns designed to kill animals, birds, etc., are used by sportsmen in a safe and rational manner.

But there is another category of guns that are designed to kill human beings.

Handguns, automatic and semiautomatic weapons and assault weapons are manufactured for the sole purpose of killing people. If America wants to continue as a civilized country, we absolutely must do something to change the ease of access to these killing machines.

First, possession of automatic, semi-automatic and assault weapons should be outlawed for everyone except police and military. Clips that hold more than eight bullets should similarly be outlawed.

Second, all weapons sales must be conducted by licensed and regulated dealers, who will perform thorough background checks. Private sales and sales at gun shows, which cannot be so regulated, must end now.

Third, all the impediments the NRA has put in the path of law enforcement must be removed.

The ATF, FBI and local law enforcement agencies must be allowed to keep and share databases of weapons used in crimes around the country.

Gary Ardis,

Oak Point