With gun sales up and accidental firearm fatalities at an all-time low, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, your Jan. 2 guest editorial "New year for guns" calls for more bans and restrictions on those who abide by the law. That would do nothing, because most laws are not obeyed by criminals anyway.
The editorial is right about one thing: The public is wiser than most politicians when it comes to freedom and guns. That is why all states except Illinois have enacted some sort of concealed-carry legislation, to offer the law-abiding person the right to self-protection and to deter criminal violence.
Keep an eye on criminals, guns
Lawful gun owners have begged politicians to stop creating more laws. The solution is to focus our limited resources on enforcing the laws already on the books to get violent criminals off the street.
Our law enforcement community faces career criminals daily. You often report that these criminals were armed and have a history of felony and violence convictions. Sometimes the firearms charges are dropped or plea-bargained away.
Start reporting and tracking dangerous criminals who use weapons and get those criminals off the street. Please report how many criminals are charged with firearms violations and how many charges are dropped ("Criminals with guns warned; City officials refer cases for federal prosecution," Jan. 24).
Then hold our appointed and elected officials accountable.
Women should disdain guns
I am disappointed that so many women are succumbing to the fear and paranoia propagated by the National Rifle Association, gun manufacturers, and gun dealers ("Having a blast: For protection and fun, more women are learning to shoot," Jan. 8). Owning a gun is nothing to be proud of.
Education is the most powerful tool against violence. Peace of heart and mind will never come at the end of a gun. We are losing our souls and humanity for political posturing, profit, and a futile and temporary attempt at feeling powerful.
Power comes from within. I am ashamed of members of my gender for their role in the proliferation of propaganda, fear, and violence.
Marines' action indefensible
I am disgusted that anyone could defend Marines urinating on Taliban corpses and rationalize it as acceptable ("Don't condemn Marines for conduct," Readers' Forum, Jan. 22).
I do not have combat experience, but I realize the inhumanity of casually urinating on corpses.
There have been cases of desecration of American corpses. But previous events do not give American soldiers the right to become monsters, in some blind stab of vengeance.
Some letter writers asserted that Marines are stressed every day, and that such despicable actions allow them to relieve the pressures of their occupation. Anyone who derives enjoyment from the desecration of a corpse has a sick mind.
Taliban corpses are human remains and are to be treated with dignity. They were people, not "disgusting carrion," as one writer stated. Simply because they were an enemy, that does not grant the Marines a reprieve from sanity and humanity.
St. John's students disrespect anthem
I've been to hundreds of sporting events, from professional football games to elementary school baseball games. At all these games, the crowd was quiet and respectful during the playing or singing of the National Anthem. This all changed at the Whitmer-St. John's high school basketball game on Jan. 24.
The St. John's student section was loud and disrespectful during the singing of the National Anthem, which was well performed by one of St. John's own students.
As a graduate of St. John's, I was disappointed at the behavior of the student body.
Pickup failure wastes tax dollars
About a month ago, I called Republic Services about abandoned furniture at a vacant house across the street. I was told to contact Toledo's Neighborhood Beautification Action office. I did, and was told a pickup would be scheduled.
A large refuse truck has made two stops in the past couple of weeks at other houses on the street, but not at the house in question. It is not my responsibility to look after another property, but I don't want to have to continue to look at someone else's trash.
Our tax dollars are misused. Taxes are collected, but nothing seems to be done with them.
Build a bus station at Southwyck site
When I picked up my daughter recently from the Greyhound bus station in downtown Toledo, I was taken aback at the condition of the station and how small the parking lot is.
The building is dingy and dirty. The inside lighting is horrible. I was surprised at how unkempt and outdated everything appeared.
People arrive there daily from all over the country. Their first impression of Toledo is this dirty bus station.
Why not build a new station at the old Southwyck Shopping Center location? The buses would have easy access to the Ohio Turnpike and I-475, especially with the new Dussel Drive interchange.
This location is surrounded by numerous eateries, hotels, motels, gasoline stations, and drugstores. TARTA buses could pick up visitors and drive them to other parts of Toledo or to surrounding areas.
I am tired of seeing a barren cement field where the mall once stood, sprouting weeds and lying untouched. A new bus station would be a refreshing change and could rejuvenate the area economically.