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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 25, 2009 at 6:00 AM

The gun lobby

A liberal gun owner’s solution

I just read the column “Time to stand up to the gun lobby” [E.J. Dionne Jr., Opinion, April 21]. I am a Seattle liberal and I am a big supporter of President Obama. I am also a gun owner.

There are a lot of us liberal gun owners in the Greater Seattle area. As a liberal, I believe in protecting all of our civil rights and that includes gun ownership. I don’t pick and choose which civil rights to protect.

I know that the only way to end violence in Mexico and the United States is to legalize all drugs. The majority of violence in the United States and Mexico is a direct byproduct of the drug trade and the drug war. The only way to ever end this violence is to legalize drugs and sell them just like we sell alcohol.

The idea that more gun control will stop the flow of guns to Mexico is just as crazy as saying that making drugs illegal will stop the flow of drugs to the United States. It just doesn’t work. Gun control will never stop the violence. The only thing that will stop the violence in our two countries is to legalize all drugs and the sooner we do that, the sooner we can start saving lives.

Alcohol prohibition did not work and neither does drug prohibition. It is time to wake up to reality and end the drug war and end the violence. Free people should be allowed to use drugs if they wish and free people should never have their gun rights taken from them.

— Bill Healy, Seattle

Violence is violence, regardless of weapon

E.J. Dionne Jr.’s column is another example of the left just not getting it. I think Republicans and Democrats alike all wish that the left were correct –that is to say that there are no bad people in the world who do bad things, including murder.

The reality is that guns don’t commit the crimes at all — it is obviously the criminal, just as the knife didn’t commit the stabbing. Drunk-driving deaths are far more common than crimes with weapons, yet we don’t hear about outlawing vehicles or alcohol. Why is that? Those who don’t like guns label it “gun violence,” yet avoid the term “vehicle violence,” “knife violence,””bomb violence” or “fist violence.” It’s just plain violence committed by violent people.

According to the Bureau of Justice statistics, 74 percent of murders with a gun are committed by people that had a prior criminal record; 44 percent of the victims had a prior criminal record. Clearly, the criminals should be punished appropriately in the first place; law-abiding citizens who have the right to defend themselves should not be punished.

Without the gun lobby, we would be a lawless country in which only criminals have guns because of the naievety of the left.

— Don Maschmedt, Auburn

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