To the editor:
I hate to get into a lengthy dialog regarding the issue of guns and the Sandy Hook tragedy, but I feel I must respond briefly to Stephen Sellers' letter regarding the event and my initial letter on the subject.
Briefly, I wrote about the lining up of the kids and shooting them multiple times. Reflecting on this I suppose I was probably attempting to illustrate the macabre nature of this crime as it should appear in the mind's eye. It was the filthiest human behavior anyone can imagine.
Mr. Sellers states that shooting each child once would have achieved the same result so my "multiple times" statement apparently without merit. Perhaps he has a point, but the intricacies of this event are important for us to consider.
During a murder trial where one is charged with killing another person with a knife, would not the statement "cutting his throat from ear to ear" affect the understanding of the crime rather than "he died as a result of a knife wound?"
I must take issue with his assertion that the use of the assault rifle did not facilitate this act. Had he used a typical bolt hunting rifle that we are familiar with, chambering and firing each round would have required his operating the bolt to eject the spent cartridge and reloading into the firing chamber a fresh round from the rifle's magazine. Had he used an older World War II era rifle, he might have used a rifle with an external magazine which would hold eight to 10 rounds. A contemporary bolt action rifle requires the shooter to individually open the bolt and insert each cartridge separately into the magazine. The magazine would typically hold five or six rounds. This action, having to be done the 15 or 20 times to successfully fire the approximately one hundred rounds, would have significantly slowed Lanza's actions.
One might argue the use of a lever or slide action rifle would have been faster than a bolt action This isn't necessarily true. Loading individual cartridges in a pump or lever action rifle is not an easy task. Anyone familiar with a Winchester or Marlin .30-30 can back this up.
The much increased time necessary to reload just might, again, just might have saved a few of these kids. And given that he would have repeatedly had to reload might just have stopped the carnage. Also, and very important, it is asserted when the police arrived they could hear shots being fired inside the school. Apply this to the fact that Lanza would have been slower to load individual cartridges as opposed to dropping and reinserting a magazine containing 30 rounds and it is easy to argue some kids might have survived.
Mr. Sellers' treatise was valid and accepted as a good rebuttal to my letter until the very end when he obviously assumed that because I differed with the National Rifle Association I was also pro-abortion. Must you be a liberal if you are looking for an answer to the murder of 20 children?
Why must these two things be in any way connected? It backs up my disappointment regarding the portraying of people with a wide political or ideological brush depending on their feelings on a single issue.
If I am in favor of saving the redwoods must I also be in favor or same-sex marriage? If I disagree with food stamps should I also be in favor of prayer in schools? I don't appreciate this. I think this behavior is mean-spirited and stifles discussion of differing views. It is unfortunately a very common practice nowadays and I take offense to it. I have views on many topics. Mr. Sellers has no right tagging me one way or another because of my feelings on one of these issues.