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Gun industry and NRA are ruining the United States

Updated: January 19, 2013 6:05AM

Gun industry and NRA are ruining the United States

Years ago, I read “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.” Most disturbing in that chronicle of evil was the matter-of-fact discussion by businessmen of how most efficiently to kill other human beings, in the name of profit, on behalf of a business. To me, the distinction between those German businessmen and the United States businessmen who have created the gun culture and industry that distinguishes our country from the rest of the civilized world is one of degree, not kind.

This year, Forbes carried an article about a 2007 study showing that the United States has between two and five times the number of gun homicides per 100,000 persons as Canada and virtually all of Europe, and the United States has a number of firearms per 100 people two to three times higher than Canada and Europe.

We are awash with guns, such that keeping them out of the hands of any segment of society — including insane people — is well neigh impossible. The gun industry, aided and abetted by the NRA, has created this problem. The consequence is that a lot of innocent people are dead who would not be dead if we had fewer guns.

I believe it is fair comment to say that the gun industry and the NRA are ruining this country in important ways.

Alfred Y. Kirkland Jr.


Vegan feast nice, not naughty, way to celebrate Christmas

Santa’s belly is supposed to shake like a bowl full of jelly — but Uncle Earl could really benefit if there were a little less “bounce” in his step.

So this Christmas, I’m preparing a healthy — and humane — feast featuring a savory vegan pot pie and vegan versions of traditional holiday favorites, including mashed potatoes, stuffing, and green bean bake.

Unlike turkey, ham and other animal-derived foods, vegan foods are cholesterol-free and generally low in saturated fat and calories. So even if you “overindulge” a little at Christmas, you won’t have to spend the New Year trying to lose the holiday weight.

If you, too, want to enjoy a healthy, humane holiday feast, visit for free vegan recipes and product suggestions. Your heart may not actually grow three sizes if you celebrate Christmas with a vegan feast, but you will feel good for making a compassionate, heart-healthy choice.

Heather Moore

PETA Foundation

Norfolk, VA

The debate is over, and concealed carry wins day

I have been a huge supporter of concealed carry legislation and was extremely happy read that the concealed carry ban has been overturned in Illinois.

What is extremely disappointing to me is the constant hypocrisy of the elected officials in this state. While many officials are allowed to carry concealed weapons or have armed security escorts, the ordinary citizen cannot have the same rights to protect themselves, nor can they afford the luxury of armed security to follow them around.

What also amazes me in the various coverage of this subject is that of the Illinois state Constitution, it has never been brought up. Section 22 clearly states, “Subject only to the police power, the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” This literally reads like the U.S. Constitution, yet it is clearly apparent that the elected officials seem intent on violating the very document they were sworn to uphold.

In recent years, some of the most outspoken supporters of gun control have been caught carrying guns. Some were not even registered. This should be telling us all something — and that is that these officials are obviously in fear and feel the need to carry a firearm despite the current gun ban laws.

The gun control crowd has no viable argument. They cite gangs, drugs and nothing but criminal activities — but not one viable argument citing that it is just as dangerous for law-abiding citizens to legally carry guns.

More violent crimes and crimes with guns are caused by a criminal element and not those carrying guns legally. Those supporting gun control have this fear that citizens will be walking around with machine guns and rifles or the feared assault weapons as they have defined them. Concealed carry laws only allow for handguns to be carried.

From a law abiding citizen: We have no fascination with guns. Our fascination is with staying alive and not becoming a statistic. We simply want to be able to defend ourselves from the criminals who already pay no attention to the gun laws and who find it necessary to terrorize us daily. More importantly, we simply want the chance to defend ourselves instead of worrying if we will live long enough to dial 911.

Jeff Pabst

Hanover Park

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