Letters to the Editor

Gangs and guns | Letters to the editor, Dec. 1, 2018

Illegal gun sales have been a focus of federal prosecutors in Sacramento. Now, allegations against an ATF agent led them to drop one major case and review four others.
Illegal gun sales have been a focus of federal prosecutors in Sacramento. Now, allegations against an ATF agent led them to drop one major case and review four others. Fresno Bee file

Gangs are the problem, not lawful citizens

Trauma surgeon James Davis has an unique perspective on gun violence in Fresno and it is understandable that he would promote policies that he believes would reduce the carnage, but the NRA is not the problem. The NRA promotes gun safety and has numerous programs for training all citizens in the safe handling of firearms for hunting, self-defense and marksmanship. In his youth Dr. Davis hunted and now enjoys target shooting, but ignored the prime reason that we as Americans have our Second Amendment rights, self-protection.

In his workplace, he bravely “stared down” the real problem in Fresno: gangs. Background checks, gun registration and databases will not keep gangs from obtaining firearms because they steal them! And making it harder to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon will not deter the violence. CCW holders are not the problem! They all have to go through rigorous, state-mandated training every two years to continue to exercise this right.

My perspective: I am a survivor of gun violence perpetrated by an escaped convict. He had no trouble obtaining a concealed, .38 caliber revolver after being on the street for less than two weeks, but it took more than two months for me to obtain my permit to carry a weapon for self-defense, a right which I have exercised for over 25 years without incident.

Vern Lund, Madera

NRA safety class a must

I think we should require all gun owners to take the National Riffle Association’s gun safety class that they have offered for free for at least 60 years and receive a certificate of completion in order to buy, own, or shoot a gun. Similar to a driver’s license.

My father took me to the training when I was about 8 years old in Fresno and I have carried what they have taught me ever since. Nothing impressed me more as a child than all that information I learned about all the stuff I was infatuated with constantly on television, from war movies to cowboys and all the guns they used in real life as well as on TV, not to mention all the games my friends and I were playing with guns. I have much respect for the safety of others and a careful, cautious attitude at all times. I think their one night a week for two weeks would go along way to promoting safe gun handling and responsible ownership.

NRA should promote its training classes and gun-store owners should start asking customers if they have a certificate to introduce this new approach, it is in everyone’s best interest . This simple act would separate responsible American citizen gun owners from the criminally minded, and if we include legislation, that only U.S. citizens can own guns, it would go along way in lessening the senseless crimes of the ‘”llegal immigrants.”

I was a rebellious kid in school, caused a lot of trouble, but I never lost my sense of safety and respect around guns. You have a big part of the solution right in front of you! Take advantage of it!

S.A. Thompson, Coalinga

Curious case of unlicensed driver

An acquaintance was pulled over three times within a month by Fresno PD. First expired tags, next broken headlight and something else. Each time he was given a fix-it ticket. This person has two outstanding misdemeanor warrants for failure to appear regarding two DUIs. The last time he was pulled over, he had stolen a blue sticker for his truck tags. This person has no insurance, no valid driver’s license and two outstanding warrants.

Why was he never taken to jail?

Janet Moulder, Fresno

Each of us can make the nation better

We need to return to the time where everyone helped by doing his part, no matter who you are and what you can do. This is how a better country begins.

When I was young my father and, later my brother, always pulled over when they saw a car accident and asked if anyone needed assistance. Of course, this was before cell phones . Now I am showing my age.

We can tell when someone is homeless and hungry. Sharing food isn’t a big thing. Sorry, my Rocky Road candy bar is off limits.

At times, the best way to help is to just listen to another person. He merely needed to talk about his own problems. You can listen.

Another way to help someone is to always smile. When he sees you smiling, he can’t help feeling good.

You can do a great deal to improve the world just by the things you do in your own life. Make sure people are not seriously injured in a car wreck. You can share food. Listening to others is good. A smile can help many feel better. The country is ours to make better. We can do this.

Joe Hemphill, Fresno