Opinion: Police must lead on common-sense gun reform. It might save their lives. – Houston Chronicle


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Regarding “Opinion: I lost my daughter to gun violence. We need an equitable stop-and-frisk policy.,” (April 24): If law enforcement personnel would take the lead in fighting for common-sense gun reform, we might have a chance of actually changing something. They have good reason to do this since many officers have lost their lives or been seriously wounded from gun violence. The plethora of guns makes their jobs riskier, and their fear affects their tendency to shoot first lest they be shot. The police are often the targets of criminals. When other groups try to lead on gun reform, they are opposed by the NRA and right-wing groups. Those groups tend to give the police their full support; therefore, if the police were to take the lead, there would be no knee-jerk accusation that it is just another liberal attempt to revoke the Second Amendment and take away all guns. Whenever a police officer is killed, there is often a huge show of support, with officers lining the street and organizations raising money for the family. How about doing something to save their lives rather than just showing support after the person is dead? Police officials have supported getting rid of automatic weapons in the past in addition to supporting universal background checks and closing gun show loopholes. It is in the interest of law enforcement and everyone else for them to do this. Given the divisiveness in society, they may be the only ones who can.

Sarah Frates, Houston

Regarding “Rugby star Pedrie Wannenburg killed after pursuit ends with multi-vehicle crash in Harris County,” (April 22): There were two incidents reported in last Sunday’s Chronicle which I believe could have been avoided if our police officers had better training. The first incident resulted in the death of Pedrie Wannenburg. Police officers should not have chased a suspect at nearly 100 mph because he ran a red light. The second incident involved an off-duty San Antonio police officer who fired at a driver who had pointed a gun at him. The officer could have slowed down or pulled over and let the other car drive away.

Nancy Berry, Lake Jackson

Regarding “At least 7 deaths this year tied to Houston-area police pursuits,” (April 24): So far this year 8 deaths have been caused by high-speed pursuits in Houston and Harris County. If we keep up at this rate we'll have chalked up 24 deaths by 2023. Has anyone stopped to ask themselves what would happen if police didn't engage in pursuits, but kept track of the drivers and the direction they were going and tried to apprehend them in a safer place? The agencies that participate in these high-speed chases seem to be totally data-resistant. While being stared in the face with these startlingly high numbers, they continue to allow adrenaline, rather than reason, rule their policies.

What logic is there in killing a bystander just to give a kid a traffic ticket?

Susan Miller Jackson, Houston

Firearm regulation

Regarding “Opinion: Ted Cruz is right. Biden’s ghost gun ban is a distraction from his crime problem.,” (April 20): One has to stare in amazement and alarm at our governing officials proposing that all firearms have serial numbers when practical experience shows that such a regulation is so easy to evade.

Years ago I reported for duty in San Antonio and asked the post Military Police if there were any requirements for registering personal weapons, as one is supposed to do. A few days later I got a call from them that my pistol’s serial number, a reproduction cap-and-ball black powder revolver built from a kit, had been reported stolen, along with around forty other similar kits, all with the same serial number. Fortunately I still had the receipt.

Any identification is easily removed after a few seconds with a cheap Dremel tool.

I don’t give politicians much credit for practical knowledge, except for getting elected, but aren’t their staff supposed to advise them to avoid stupidity?

Chris Elhardt, Houston

Biden's approach to protecting our lives by outlawing privately made guns is not an attack on our rights. It is highly unlikely that the good people who own guns for sport are going to want to “make” a gun.

The argument that Cruz makes is a fallacy of composition and almost laughable. Good people aren't unhappy about not being able to print a gun. We don't feel deprived.

I want a future where we don't feel the need to have 10 guns for every American citizen but instead at least one meal a day. It may be that not allowing us to print a gun, along with a receipt from our internet order, is the beginning that we can all live with. Waiting until children are killed by the gun that comes off the printer just doesn't seem to be the answer.

Patricia Garris, Spring

In response to the letters from Aidan Johnston of Gun Owners of America and Mark Overstreet, formerly of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action in the Chronicle:

Mr. Johnston noted that "Privately made firearms are rarely used in murders." Putting aside the callousness of that statement, don't murder victims, gunshot wound victims and police officers have a right to know who killed, wounded or shot at them regardless of how the gun was manufactured? Wouldn't "good people" with guns want that for gunshot victims or police officers? He does know that the number of ghost guns being used and recovered has increased tenfold from 2016, right?

Mr. Overstreet's sign off noted that he is a retired senior research coordinator for the NRA Institute for Legislative Action. Just a reminder that the NRA is a morally bankrupt organization that is allegedly dedicated to grifting money from its members to personally enrich Wayne LaPierre.

With greater access to guns through looser gun laws and increased gun sales, people are using guns in increasing numbers to settle arguments, get revenge for perceived slights, intimidate others and shoot indiscriminately as if the gun knows exactly who they are aiming for. None of this makes society safer.

Julie Marinucci, Houston

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