Two Daily Astorian opinions seriously err in their implications and proposals ("We don't have to live like this," and "Massacre puts gun control back on agenda," The Daily Astorian, April 19).

It is forever true that unwise ideas will not generate good laws, despite the feverish drumbeat that generally accompanies them. Heinous crimes, like that at Virginia Tech, mustn't stampede America into mandatory gun control laws. They have never kept criminals from getting guns, and didn't stop the Columbine massacre; but they do disarm law-abiding folks and make them "easy pickings" for criminals, who love gun control laws, and have a way of popping up in the jurisdictions that have them.

Gun control flopped famously in the District of Columbia, Chicago and New York - still more so with the ever-increasing leniency toward violent criminals. Thomas Sowell says it straight, "The empirical data are very clear. Where ordinary, law-abiding citizens have been allowed to carry firearms, violent crimes - including shootings - have gone down, not up."

For example, Kenneshaw, Ga., population 21,675 in 2000, for the last 25 years has mandated gun ownership for heads of households (with certain exceptions), and its crime rates have plummeted. Leftists choose not to notice this "inconvenient truth." They certainly don't report it.

Rosie O'Donnell screams for gun control laws; not for her, but for others. She protects her own family with guns.

The founding fathers strongly favored the Second Amendment right of ordinary people to keep and bear arms, never mind the dishonest, revisionist blatherings about "militias."

It's time to brace ourselves for the huge media blitz that is sure to come, and which America must weather.

One disclaimer: I don't belong to the National Rifle Association, but I do respect it. My love affair with guns, the context limited, began during the Korean War, when most of us junior Marine Corps officers headed off to combat. But in 2007, guns continue to have a very worthy place in protecting freedom on America's home front.

Winston A. Mitchell



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