Letter to the Editor: Los Gatos Doesn't Need Gun Store

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Regarding gun violence, we are considering Los Gatos "safe," even as Mark Achilli has been murdered in his driveway by a killer in broad daylight.

When we read about gun murders and self-killings in other cities, we still may think that this didn't happen in Los Gatos.

Now, reality comes to us: first in the form of a gun store and then with the crowd it will attract aside from law-abiding citizens.

I respect the Second Amendment even as the needs for a "well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State ... " are moot as we are a stable democracy with police and our armed forces firmly supporting our Constitution.

As a former Army officer I have great respect for fire arms as deadly weapons. Their use requires thorough ethical and practical training also in regards to safety and safe storage.

Aside from getting into wrong hands due to loop holes, a big danger with fire arms in our country is the often amateurish approach by legally sound owners, as a background check isn't confirming the skills and operational ability of a gun buyer like e.g. in Germany or Switzerland.

This incompetence - amplified by angry emotions or depression - makes people shoot their neighbors over loud music, their spouses in a fight or themselves. 

Sadly, the murdered children and teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary School have died in vain, and so did the about 1,700 victims killed by guns in the United States since then.

I agree with Mr. Markus Autrey, our Los Gatos High School principal, that providing a safe environment is the result of good decisions.

I hope that our Los Gatos Town Council will live up to this standard.

Los Gatos doesn't need a gun store.

—By 30-year Los Gatos resident Hartmut Esslinger

Mike Calahan February 11, 2013 at 05:12 PM
Well said, Hartmutt. Every gun owner considers themselves law-abiding, but they also consider themselves sane and responsible. No one buys who owns their semi-automatic weapon considers themselves crazy or unhinged. Yet, believing that the government is tyrannical, believing that their owning a cache of AR-15's is somehow safeguarding democracy, believing that they will "stand their ground" and water the tree of liberty "with the blood of tyrants" are exactly the type of people who start to fall into the crazy and unhinged category. If you ask them, though, they aren't crazy. Just who are the crazy people with guns, then, if not some of them?
David Van't Hof February 11, 2013 at 08:56 PM
Our founding fathers were some of the most highly educated people of their time. They understood that throughout history when the majority of power was placed in the hands of a single branch of government, no matter how stable, the people lost and democracy ended. Sandy Hook and Colorado are horrible tragedies, but then so was Oklahoma City and there were no guns involved there. Outlawing guns isn't going to stop the tragedies from happening, and isn't going to stop the bad guys from hurting or killing, it does prevent those who want to protect themselves and their family from doing so. Not everyone feels the need to do so, and that is their right. Enforcing the current laws and addressing the issues of mental illness should be the first steps taken. Adding more laws doesn't make sense. None of the recent proposals made by President Obama or Senator Feinstein would have stopped the recent tragedies.
Ed Allison February 12, 2013 at 08:01 AM
I am also a an honorably discharged Army officer and could not disagree with you more. In fact, I believe many of your facts are inaccurate. If you do your research you'll find that the same Congress that passed the Bill of Rights also passed the Militia Act of 1790, which defined the militia as "every able bodied man of military age." More recently, in the U.S. v. Verdugo decision of 1990, the Supreme Court held that when the phrase, "the people" is used in the context of the Second Amendment, it means "individuals" --- as to mean "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"; these are the same "people" mentioned in the First, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments of the Bill of Rights. Our nation was born from the oppressive King George III, in the spirit of freedom & based on individual liberty balancing powers between the people and the greatest murderer in the history of the world: governments. We are principled to maintain that balance, to preserve and participate in democracy. And I move that it is that very balance is playing out even today in the nations of Syria and other's. I believe it is my inalienable right, in fact, my duty, as a citizen to bear arms. I also value that as a defensive tool, again to which I have a right. You sir, I believe are incorrect. But it is not me, trying to limit you - is it? Your solution only impacts law abiding citizens. From one officer to another - I'm surprised.
Tony Alarcon February 12, 2013 at 04:35 PM
Mr. Calahan since you reference the Mark Achilli murder do you know who was on the scene first? The LGPD? No...the DEA. Why? Gun sellers currently exist in our town regardless of Templar. They have for many years with 1000's of guns sold. You also cannot buy an assault rifle in store or via internet as a CA resident. You can buy guns from many stores only miles from LG. It is very some, if you don't like guns, feel safe around them, or know how to use them...don't buy one. As a gun owner, sportsman and constitution supporter I recognize those that framed our country were well informed coming from a government who also controlled the army as ours does. George Washington twice turned down the offer to become King of the USA. I only wish those currently running our nation had his integrity and intelligence. The lack of knowledge by those crying foul reeks of incompetence and understanding... sounds a lot like our CA legislators.
Mike Calahan February 12, 2013 at 05:15 PM
Tony, I never mentioned Mark Achilli, so that point is moot. That aside, I actually grew up around guns and knew the dangers they provided. It's when 2nd Amendment supporters claim to be constitutionally versed that you truly lose the credibility you are attempting to retain. Knowing what the founders had in mind is a presumption and one that you lock onto because it supports your own narrative. On top of that, you toss in the implication of Obama being a king and you have just entered into paranoid patriot world of 'government is taking away our guns'. In this debate, though, everyone else is incompetent except the guy that owns guns and has the simple motor function to pull a trigger. If you are so dissatisfied with CA legislators, then get off the gun range and enter public office. I'm sure your vast knowledge of the constitution would only work in your favor.
Tony Alarcon February 13, 2013 at 08:08 PM
Mike, my apologies I was responding from my phone and meant to respond to Hartmutt. I won't be responding further to you as I have work to do other than post. Keep with your writing up and various 5 profiles going...It does seem you enjoy this venue. I didn't reference Obama rather George Washington, haven't been to a gun range in 2 years and respect my many good friends that don't own guns. I was simply sharing points and providing clarity on unknowns and misinformation. Don't so much appreciate your assumptions or the holier than thou attitude but if it suits you wear it:)
Robert Shackelford February 20, 2013 at 10:23 PM
Mr. Esslinger: You cannot say, "I respect the Second Amendment..." and then in the very same sentence and later sentences proceed to tell others what they need or don't need. Doing so reveals that you really don't respect the 2nd Amendment - and furthermore - you reveal that you don't respect ANYONE's basic fundamental rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness. Only an authoritarian assumes that it is their business what other people need and don't need - usually a malaise found in Communist, Socialist and Fascist socioeconomic environments. In a free society, INDIVIDUALS determine for themselves what they need and don't need. The same goes for wants. They are no one elses business - not just neighbors, but also the government. Where conflict ensues between two or more individuals exercising their rights, that is the purview of civil courts, and criminal courts under the watchful eyes of a jury of twelve peers guided by constitutional law in the case of the USA. =8-)
Daniel Wencel April 10, 2013 at 07:26 AM
To Mike Calahan You seem to substitute real arguments for name calling. Insults like "paranoid" etc are not going to convince anybody and just make you look like a fool. In any case, the argument that the good law abiding people will be safer when they disarm is laughable.
Robert Roch'e April 10, 2013 at 04:54 PM
Oh good we won't be hearing from you again that's is so nice. What a goof !
Robert Roch'e April 10, 2013 at 04:57 PM
I agree with you on that Daniel.


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