Letters to the Editor: Feb. 17, 2016

Response to Rep. Newman commentary

[In response to State Rep. Stacey Newman’s January commentary, “What you can do about gun violence.”]

Is there a contemporary reference to the often-quoted statistic that 40 percent of firearm purchases happen without a background check? It is likely a much smaller number (usually private sales between individuals).

Here’s another interesting point that we can all agree on: Criminals do not obey laws. 

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different outcomes. More laws do not work.

How about requiring the government to enforce existing laws? Approximately 20,000 background checks are rejected every year. Therefore, these individuals do not buy that gun. However, many of these applicants are committing a crime by even trying to buy a gun. How many of these people are prosecuted? Sources suggest about a dozen a year.

Many felons are career criminals. They commit a second crime and are caught by the police with a firearm. Every U.S. attorney could prosecute hundreds of these people yearly, and keep career criminals off the street.  

I vote at every election. Those that do not vote really should not complain. That is the only thing in Newman’s article that I agree with.

I challenge the editorial board to publish a rebuttal article from a pro-gun elected official or organization.

Melvin B. Saltzman

Crystal Lake Park


Editor’s note: Politifact.com addresses the “40 percent” statistic mentioned above. It rates the statement as “half true,” because it is based on a study  that is 22 years old, with a small sample size. However, the site notes that there are no current studies to provide  up-to-date figures, due in part to a “two-decade dearth of gun violence research funding.”



Ferguson’s future

As a registered Professional Engineer, E-9290 in Missouri, I view Ferguson’s decision to fight the Department of Justice in court, as the attitude of a compulsive gambler. Ferguson was caught red-handed, financing its municipal operations by preying on its citizens and others, using its criminal injustice system.

That source of illegal revenue must stop, so increased taxes are the obvious remedy. Another problem for the Ferguson business is the increased cost of operating a legal justice system, so it’s a double whammy: less revenue, more cost. After a one-year negotiation in bad faith, the Ferguson City Council has decided to go for a trifecta: less revenue, more cost, and huge legal expense in a lost cause. It’s time to invoke a circus maxim: “Send in the clowns.” 

Franklin Sax

Tucson, Ariz. (and former St. Louisan)