Too much begetting
"Living Large" (8/3/2012) listed some benefits of growing up in larger families. While these benefits could be considered when planning a biological family, so should the Earth's limited resources. The benefits can be achieved in ways other than through a child's immediate family - parenting styles, church and neighborhood activities, schooling, extended family contact, exposure to good parent role models.
I just wish you would have mentioned the carbon burden on the planet that a large family imposes. We should have a two-child policy; even with that I fear the planet is doomed.
Otto K. Otteson, Cottage Grove
Just the facts, ma'am
Ruth Conniff would get a lot more mileage from her opinions if she actually got the underlying facts correct ("Time to Stand Up to the Gun Nuts," 8/3/2012). Regarding the Gabby Giffords insanity, she writes, "the gunman's automatic rifle jammed, allowing a Giffords staffer to...stop the violence." Jared Loughner was not armed with a rifle, much less an "automatic" rifle (i.e., a machine gun). Loughner was armed with a semi-automatic pistol (a Glock 19, to be precise). It shoots one cartridge for each squeeze of the trigger. The assault was stupid and senseless enough as is; there is no need to embellish it by putting an "automatic rifle" into Loughner's hands.
Joseph T. Leone, Brooklyn, Wis.
The only guns that can fire hundreds of rounds of ammo without reloading are belt-fed machine guns. These guns are generally mounted on vehicles, watercraft and aircraft because of their weight. Belt feeds have been hacked to work on civilian weapons, but then they can only fire one round at a time.
Machine guns are highly regulated and require extensive background checks through multiple government agencies and then can only be purchased through strictly regulated firearm dealers. In not one of the estimated 50 gun massacres in the last 30 years was a machine gun or automatic weapon used.
The weapon used in the Gabrielle Giffords shooting was not an automatic weapon; it was a semi-automatic. A semi-automatic requires a separate trigger pull for each round fired.
The drum magazine used in the Aurora shooting is nothing more than a novelty item that adds several pounds and instability to the rifle it's installed on, and they tend to jam regularly. Drum magazines hold a maximum of 100 rounds.
If Gary at Red Caboose daycare had been trained in the use of firearms and had one available, he could have stopped the attacker before the attacker inflicted any wounds on himself.
Mark F. Janness, Monona