Letters Week of Dec. 27, 2007


Statement on Guns: More Fiction Than Fact
The front-page article, "Guns Represent 'Most Significant Public-Safety Issue,' " (Cover story, Dec. 13), has made me even more proud to be a parent of two Torah-observant teenage children who I can count on to shoot safely and well and, if needed, protect our family.

No doubt "well-known Philadelphia philanthropist Lynn Honickman" wants to save children, as do I. However, the most effective way to do it is to keep criminals off the streets, without restricting gun-ownership rights for law-abiding U.S. citizens.

Crime, infectious diseases and terrorism are also major public-safety issues.

However, none of these are properly addressed by any proposed new restrictions on gun ownership by law-abiding citizens. In fact, if there is a situation that leaves law enforcement unavailable, such as a prolonged power blackout, an epidemic disease or the impact from a weapon of mass destruction, then your only means of realizing a prayer to God for help is via the guns you have and your skill with them.

Ms. Honickman is quoted as saying, "I can walk into a gun store and buy 50 guns. You can get as many as you want and then you can sell them to someone else, who can sell them to kids."

Is this fact or fiction? I challenge her to take me along to any store in Pennsylvania, and let me witness her trying to buy 49 guns, and then sell them to someone else.
Yosef Morgan, M.D.

Gun-Control Advocates Miss the Point on Crime
Lynn Honickman claims that "Guns Represent 'Most Significant Public-Safety Issue,' " (Cover story, Dec. 13).

I wonder if she is aware that more people are killed by drunk drivers in this country than by firearms, and this is vehicular homicide and not an accident.

Mothers' Against Drunk Drivers say, "Don't Drink and Drive." They do not propose limits on how much alcohol you can purchase.

Perhaps Ms. Honickman's group should stress gun safety — and not limits — on law-abiding citizens.
Mike Silverman
Elkins Park

Study the Report, Then Ditch the Iran Hysteria
The Jewish Exponent didn't seem to get the same message that the rest of the world got from the release of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran this month (Editorial: Report Shouldn't Silence Iran Advocacy," Dec. 13).

Rather than realizing that the hysteria fomented by the Bush administration, Israel and pro-Israel groups about the supposed threat of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons is now known to be based on faulty intelligence, your editorial takes the point of view that we should ignore this fact and act as if the NIE had never been published.

Instead of understanding that the push to war with Iran was based on the same sort of neocon myth as the decision to invade Iraq, your editorial asks the community to continue to support blustering policies that could lead us into another costly disaster.

This is the time for the United States to be attempting to back away from the brink and to initiate some sort of dialogue with Tehran.

For American Jews to allow themselves to be cajoled into backing policies that have already proven to be failures is nothing short of madness.
R. Harris

Rule of Law's at Stake in Debate on Immigration
Jonathan Tobin's column on the nature of the current Republican religious debate is a message I hope the presidential candidates read (A Matter of Opinion: "Dead-End Debate Club," Dec. 13).

Mike Huckabee's rise is scary and cause for serious alarm. His 1992 commentary on AIDS was, factually, as well as morally, wrong. It is mystifying that a "theologian" could stick to those comments with the hindsight of 2007.

Moreover, his disingenuous commentary on Mormons is a disgrace. How anyone can believe that this is a "religious" man escapes me.

Regarding illegal immigration, my in-laws are from Central and South America. So, I don't believe my position is jingoistic or anti-Latino. Rather, the push-back is a result of a number of core U.S. values.

First is the rule of law. Economic expediency or pragmatism does not make the violation of the law right.

Second is the issue of fairness. It's not fair to those people who stand in line or who enter lotteries to enter America.

Third is the question of the attitude of some of the illegal coalitions, and the governing bodies of the countries from which they come.

Who is in charge? Do we really want the president of Mexico, for example, issuing "credentials" to legitimize people who are not legitimately here?

An overwhelming majority of the American people do not believe, on issues of illegal immigration, that they have been protected.
Lynne Lechter
King of Prussia

Extremist Republicans: Unworthy of Our Support
Jonathan Tobin laments the ascendancy of nativist elements in the 2008 Republican presidential campaign (A Matter of Opinion: "Dead-End Debate Club," Dec. 13).

But strip the Religious Right and white supremacists from the GOP grid, and what is left?

Just Wall Street, execs from Exxon and WorldCom, the likes of convicted influence-peddler Jack Abramoff, and bumptious bloviators of the ilk of pundits such as the anti-Jewish Ann Coulter and the homophobic anti-Semite Pat Buchanan.

That's not a crowd worthy of the support of a covenantal community devoted to sacred learning, service to God and acts of lovingkindness.
Stephen Arkan



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