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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Mailbag: Jan. 21

Mental illness not a cause for gun control

I speak for those of us whom would be affected most by a weapons ban, law-abiding citizens.

Blaiming the recent shooting on the tool the perpetrator used is a dangerous move. Is the handgun at fault, or is the mental imbalance of the shooter more of a factor?

A ban would only ensure that law-abiding citizens are unarmed and give people unwilling to heed laws an advantage in a life-or-death fight. Humans have a right to defend themselves. A ban would simply force criminals to find their tools elsewhere, and restrict innocent humans from an adequate defense.

An article published on Jan. 19 mentions how the Brady Campaign ranks states on their gun laws, states with higher scores have more restrictive laws. So let’s compare: California has a ranking of 79, while New Hampshire has a ranking of 9. California has a violent crime rate of 5.61 per 1,000 residents. New Hampshire has a rate of 1.4 violent crimes per 1,000 people. Does anybody see the flaw? This system only examines law, not what happens. The Brady Campaign also aims to ban “”assault weapons.”” They claim “”assault-style”” weapons pose a threat because they allow criminals to kill mass amounts of people. They cite hundreds of cases where assault weapons were used criminally since the repeal of the Federal Assault Weapon Ban in 2004. However, I could not find evidence that “”assault”” weapons always did more damage than a simple handgun. In many cases, their high capacity magazines seemed to almost encourage the shooter to miss!

In a mailbag letter, mental illness and guns are compared to drunk driving. Do we get rid of cars or drunks? The problem with gun control is that it targets a symptom instead of a disease. The shooter in the recent tragedy has been reported as mentally imbalanced. It should be more of a concern that this person can slip through the cracks without being helped. I confidently say a mentally balanced person is usually not one to commit violent crime.

­—Jay Michael Fielder

Operations management junior

Community must take decisive action

This week the whole country saw the sense of community and excellence that comes out of the University of Arizona. Even Gov. Jan Brewer came down to Tucson to show respect for slain judge and UA alum John Roll, to praise the excellent care given to all the victims of the shootings at the University Medical Center and to express her best wishes for her “”friend”” Gabrielle Giffords, an unyielding supporter of public higher education in Arizona. Then Brewer went back up to Phoenix and proposed a budget that will slash the already tattered state support of public universities by another 20 percent and community colleges by 47 percent. If we want to have the better civil society that we have all been talking about this week, it will take more than kind words and tears. I urge everyone at the University of Arizona — students, faculty and staff — to take action and respectfully tell Jan Brewer to restore university funding in this budget. It takes less than one minute to do so at:, so do it now!

­—Rafe Sagarin, Assistant research professor, Institute of the Environment

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