Colorado massacre highlights gun issues 

When the government creates gun-free zones, they become sites of massacres that gunmen look upon as safe havens (“Suspect’s notebook sent to psychiatrist,” Thursday). In Colorado, a package with a return address belonging to 24-year-old slaying suspect James Eagan Holmes’ home — an apartment booby-trapped with fire bombs — remained unopened for more than a week at a University of Colorado campus.

A question that should be asked by every free citizen under the protection of the Second Amendment is who should be seeing a psychiatrist: The shooter; the law enforcement  agencies that create gun-free zones; legislatures that want to outlaw guns; or the citizens who believe that if the citizens have no guns, the criminals won’t?

Look at a nation with one of the lowest homicide rates in the world — Switzerland, a neutral country with a citizen army that requires every able-bodied man up until the age of 40 to be part of a civilian army and be trained to use, and have in the home, a machine gun. Most men opt to keep the machine gun after the age of 40. Towns in America that have gun-possession requirements of all citizens also have virtually zero homicides.

What if our founding fathers, the Continental Army, had no guns? Would we be free sovereign American citizens today, or would we still be paying taxes to the British empire, without representation?

Frank Norton, San Francisco

Change needed at meters

Melissa Griffin’s Thursday column (“Parking details without the $300 ticket”) reminded me once again why I think we don’t really have and likely never had a real deficit in city coffers.

If almost 30 percent of the parking meter employees of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency are out on temporary,  long-term or modified-duty leave, that’s a pure waste of taxpayer dollars. If 30 percent of a private company’s employees were out on leave, how long would that company stay in business or those employees continue to enjoy long-term benefits before being let go, and money diverted back to production?

While many civil servants do a good job and care to do so, a good number seem to take advantage of secure government employment with its double employee-protection systems of civil service and union representation.

Ann Grogan, San Francisco

Rec and Park in the dark

Why is the Recreation and Park Department advertising for a “park patrol manager” at a salary of $88,332 per year for the task of assigning overtime, when it already has a head park ranger who assigns overtime?

At Rec and Park, do the supervisors need supervisors?

Richard Hanlin, San Francisco  

Limit firearms to homes

In a Wednesday letter to the editor (“Firearms can save lives,” Letters) it was claimed that if “a law-abiding, card-carrying firearm owner had been allowed to bring his or her weapon to bear, the carnage [in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater] might very well have been at least significantly reduced, if not entirely prevented.” What utter nonsense!

Shooting back into a crowded, dark — and in this case, smoke-filled — theater with people getting up and trying to escape is shear insanity! Such ideas demonstrate the mentality of gun-happy, trigger-eager people, card-carrying or not.

Weapons for self-defense should be limited to the home, and be disallowed in the public arena, where law enforcement is supposed to be in charge.

Jorg Aadahl, San Mateo

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