• Montrose, Mich.

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I fault some of the points raised in the Jan. 23 editorial, “Making sense of Tucson.” First, with regard to the claim that anyone can get a gun with a high-capacity ammo clip, there are several steps in place to prevent that. These laws are split between federal and state control, and if memory serves, Arizona’s laws are in transition. The background check is supposed to flag mental as well as criminal problems, but if someone has never been treated for these problems, then it will never show up. In a perfect world, we could do psychological exams every time someone entered a gun store.

Second, though it appears there is no loyal opposition in the U.S., there is. Most of what the world hears are the extremists who not only form the loudest sections of their parties but also are often the ones who push their way on camera. It has only been during the past 15 years or so — when TV news channels lost many viewers to the Internet — that commentators with extreme views have aired. It has only gotten worse with the so-called tea party candidates getting into Congress with the express purpose of obstructing any plan that isn’t theirs.

Third, the National Rifle Association is not the cause of all gun problems. The NRA has often come out in favor of psychological tests of people buying firearms. It is fine with weapons regulation as long as the option to own firearms is unobstructed. The anti-gun lobbyists act as if any gun in the hands of a private citizen will lead to the murder of thousands of children.

Several (gun-control) bills have been proposed by both major parties, but all have been rejected because they either don’t compromise or include measures that would be impossible to enforce — such as bans on all semi-automatic weapons and on any weapon that can hold more than six rounds.

Even in a heavily regulated society, someone with the will to cause mayhem can get the tools they need.

patrick shulz

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