Two letters on the Newtown massacre were in the December 20th Readers' Forum. I agree on some points, disagree on others.
One writer said the massacre could have been achieved with a machete or a baseball bat. Not true. You can't kill 26 people in 10 minutes with those weapons. The victim would fight back and/or run away. Nearby potential victims would probably storm the killer and possibly kill him (her).
Only an assault weapon with large magazines can kill so many people so quickly and easily. I served in the Army in Vietnam. I know the AR-15 (M-16). It has horrific firepower and is very lightweight, easily handled by a woman or adolescent. There is absolutely no reason that this military weapon should be easily available to the general public.
Assault weapons and large magazines should be banned. Any hunter that thinks he (she) needs an assault weapon for hunting is not a very good marksman or sportsman. If assault rifles are banned, the next step is not to take our hunting rifles and shotguns. There is no reason to take them. This is just paranoia promoted by the NRA and the gun manufacturers.
Most people, including me, support the Second Amendment, but with reasonable restrictions. Polls show 62% support an assault weapons ban and only 37% oppose.
The writer noted our culture of violence in video games, movies, TV, and music. They make killing fun and exciting. People become desensitized to the horror and finality of death. Somehow this has to be addressed.
The other writer quoted Mike Huckabee on Fox News who said that we are taking God out of our schools and Christ out of Christmas. He also blamed broken homes and the decline of family values and discipline.
These are all factors that we must deal with but we have to do something about personal weapons of mass destruction. Our gun death rate is 20 times as high as other civilized nations. How many massacres before we come to our senses.