Readers write: Letters to the editor, June 29, 2016

Anti-gun advice was bad

It seems the insanity exhibited by hoplophobes is getting worse. I couldn't believe the letter written by Scott Walker in the June 27 Letters section. Is he serious about pulling a fire alarm just because someone is openly and legally carrying a firearm? It seems his irrational fear has him encouraging others to make a false report of a fire, which is a Class A misdemeanor according to Municipal Code 8.30.020(A)(3). I have to wonder what the fire department thinks of this. Their job is to put out fires, not respond to false alarms set off by hysterical nut jobs. It's expensive to respond to a false alarm, it's not something they would ever deal with and it could delay their response to a real emergency. So why call out the fire department? It's people of his ilk who are demanding so-called "common sense" gun laws. And that's a problem, when the people who want to define "common sense" don't seem to have any.

— Erik Heiker
Wasilla

Second Amendment allows ‘organized,’ ‘regulated’ militia

With regard to Dr. Dickie's letter (ADN, June 27), "Insanity of gun-death carnage": Amen.

Another viewpoint: the Second Amendment of the Constitution doesn't quite authorize ownership of every type of gun by every citizen. It does, of course, say "… the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." However, the amendment begins, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state …"

"Well regulated militia?" The citizen militia under AS 26.05.100 "may be organized (by the governor) … under regulations as to discipline and training." Since the governor has not ordered this, Alaska's citizen militia is officially "unorganized," not "well regulated."

I accept ownership of appropriate guns for hunting and personal protection. But we are less, not more, secure in the absence of regulation — we have no limitations on AR-15s, which don't fill those needs, nor (in effect) any control of who can buy guns. I do not believe this is what the Constitution means.

I suggest that individual gun ownership, unless "regulated" and part of an "organized militia" (in the sense of Alaska law), is not protected by the Second Amendment.

— Vivian Mendenhall
Anchorage

Use common sense when carrying weapons in public

Ms. Ellen Stephan makes an excellent point (Letters, June 27) in her letter concerning discomfort at public display of sidearms. This is one area in which overzealous pro-gun people often add to anti-gun sentiment. Many citizens are neither fanatically for or against firearms, but do become nervous when guns are casually displayed for no obvious reason. To unnecessarily provoke such discomfort is not only inconsiderate, but may well push uncommitted citizens to the anti-gun side of the fence. Why would you dangle a spider in the face of a person with an unwarranted fear of spiders (like me)? If you feel it appropriate to carry a handgun, carry it concealed as I do. It is still available if needed, but raises no fears from those it may well protect.

Mr. Scott Walker's advice to pull a fire alarm each time you detect someone with a weapon would probably cause more deaths and injuries than it would ever prevent. The last thing we need is an alarm ringing and the cry "man with a gun!" in a crowded public place. Such an action may save lives on the super-rare occasion when a shooter is present, but what of the other 50 occasions when the gun-carrier is an off-duty law enforcement officer or a citizen whose pistol came momentarily into view when his coat was brushed aside?

I recommend calm and common sense on the part of both armed and unarmed members of the public.

— Don Neal
Anchorage

 The views expressed here are the writers' own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a letter under 200 words for consideration, email letters@alaskadispatch.com, or click here to submit via any web browser. Submitting a letter to the editor constitutes granting permission for it to be edited for clarity, accuracy and brevity. Send longer works of opinion to commentary@alaskadispatch.com.