YOUR VIEWS Letters to the Editor

In response to the gun rights article [“Gun Rights Play Role in Election,” Oct. 3], I would like to add some relevant information and share my views on the matter.

Neither Tech nor any other university in Georgia is truly a “gun-free” zone. True, there are legal prohibitions against bringing firearms onto campus, but they are merely words—and as shown by the numerous robberies and assaults at gunpoint that happen on campus every year, criminals obviously pay them no heed. Frankly, no matter how many laws and rules, the only way to truly prevent guns from coming on campus is to search every single person and thing entering campus.

Many Tech students and alumni have firearms licenses. Every one of them has undergone thorough state and federal background checks. All have proven themselves safe by carrying in stores, gas stations, parks, MARTA and restaurants every day without incident.

It is well past time that these same people be able to do so on campus as well. The threat of a [Virginia Tech]-style shooting might be very low, but the chances of being a victim of “ordinary” violent crime around campus are much higher. The student or faculty member who must walk around late at night deserves an effective means to defend him or herself should the unthinkable happen.

If we truly want to end violence, we have to attack the root of the problem. We must put violent criminals behind bars and keep them there doing hard time. We must catch young offenders early and get them help before they move on to worse crimes. We must stop glorifying gangs, violence and crime, and we must provide better education and opportunities to our children so that they may have a better alternative.

Robert Gatlin-Martin

AE 2007

Obama’s views on guns

The writer of the piece entitled “Gun Rights Play Role in Election” [Oct. 3] apparently has not studied the gun stances of the Presidential candidates, specifically Barack Obama, to an appropriate degree to be qualified to write an unbiased article on the subject.

The statement that Sen. Obama has been “moderate” on gun control begs a little discussion on the matter. The assertion that Obama “supports” the Second Amendment and agrees with the recent Supreme Court decision (Heller v. DC) is completely false. Prior to the Heller case, Sen. Obama expressed his support for the District’s near total ban on private handgun ownership. If this is the kind of “common sense regulation” the author is talking about, I cannot see how the author is presenting an unbiased assessment.

“Common sense regulation” is also a buzzword used by those same Democrats on the “extreme end of the gun control spectrum,” such as the Brady Campaign (which has issued statements proclaiming the end of all private gun ownership as a long-term goal). Is it not odd that a “moderate” would say the same things as an “extremist?”

The author then goes on to say that Sen. Obama fights the “gun society” at every turn. However, the author does not say which gun society. Is the author referring to a father teaching his sons the finer points of target shooting on the family farm? Or is the author referring to the guy I saw selling pistols out of a backpack several weeks ago? Which does Sen. Obama oppose?

It seems that if Sen. Obama were a true moderate, he would oppose one and not the other. And yet, he has made statements and voted for bills opposing private firearm ownership, even of the mundane .22 sitting in granddad’s gun safe.

He uses the same phrases, and supported the same causes lauded by the extremist Brady Campaign, Handgun Control, Inc. and Million Mom March. Is he really a “moderate” in his gun control stance? Is he really looking out for the proud, law-abiding, gun-owning American citizen?

Gun policy aside, I would urge readers to do their own research into the true intentions and goals of all candidates for public office, and not rely on biased or misinformed literature published in the public forum.

J. Lucas Richardson

Fourth-year ME