Inbox — Aug. 1, 2012

Letters to the Editor

New Sister City?
While reading “What a Week” concerning the Insight Communications/Time Warner vs. Hearst TV/WLKY’s failure to reach an agreement (LEO Weekly, July 18), it occurred to me that all is not bad. Now I can keep up with what’s happening in Rochester, N.Y.! That is something I have always hoped to do. My spouse and I are thinking about driving up for all the good sales.
Allen Canterbury, Churchill Downs

Coward in Colorado
How did humans kill one another before firearms? Did humans use arrows, swords, knives, sharp sticks, clubs, bones and rocks? You betcha. The first recorded homicide was in Genesis if you believe the Bible. Humans are predators. We kill to survive. Plants and animals are killed daily just so we can eat. Isn’t that horrific?

We kill each other on our nation’s roadways at a rate of about 120 people per day. Just the other day, seven people were killed in a single accident on a Texas highway. Do we outlaw autos? Twenty-seven people were killed in a fiery school bus crash near Carrollton. Do we outlaw school buses? And 168 people were killed in the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire. Do we outlaw supper clubs or fire?

Any time there is a gathering of individuals, there is a risk, however slight, of catastrophe. Over a billion movie tickets were sold domestically in the U.S. last year. What is the risk of being shot? If the cinema shooter’s intent was to commit mass murder, he was a poor tactician. If it had something to do with the “Batman” franchise, he missed his mark. People continue to see the movie.

The best that can be said of the gunman is he is a pussy (from “pussyfooter” — one not taking a firm stand/coward). He didn’t have the balls to commit suicide by cop. He was too pussy to take his own life. What a dumbass.
Rich Givan, Crescent Hill

Right to Remain Safe
The Second Amendment of the Constitution states that “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

There are disagreements about the limitations of the Second Amendment on whether it is absolute or not. It’s important to note that no right is absolute, not even those guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Take, for instance, the right to free speech. This right is limited and restricted in many ways. A clear example can be found in the Imminent Danger Rule: A person cannot stand in a crowded theater and scream “fire” or “bomb” if there is not one because of the panic and injury it will cause.

As a country, we have agreed this is a valid limitation of free speech because the right clashes with the rights of those people in the theater. The same analysis can be applied to the Second Amendment. If the right to own and carry a gun interferes with the public safety, that right can be abridged in order to protect public safety.

Many court decisions have limited the right to keep and bear arms. In 1982, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in the Quilici vs. Village of Morton Grove case ruled that “Construing the language of the Second Amendment according to its plain meaning, it seems clear that the right to bear arms is inextricably connected to the preservation of a militia. We conclude that the right to keep and bear handguns is not guaranteed by the Second Amendment.”

With last week’s movie theater massacre restarting the gun control debate, it’s important to take a step back from the hard-line positions of the past and ask ourselves if we want to live in a country where 14,159 human lives were taken in 2010 alone? Or can we accept reasonable limitations on guns that keep military-grade weapons out of the hands of illegal immigrants, terrorists and mass murders like James Holmes, who wore body armor, used an assault rifle, a shotgun and a Glock handgun to kill at least 12 people and injure 71? Let’s give people the right not to have someone open fire on them in a movie theater just as they have the right not to be trampled on.
Shawn Reilly, Highlands