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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
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Distinction does exist between weapon types

In response to Josh Silverstein's Monday letter on the lifting of the "assault" weapons ban, Mr. Silverstein states, "To think that lifting the assault weapons ban enumerates your Second Amendment rights while not helping criminals is a slap in the face to common sense."

Can we assume, then, that he is against all things that could help criminals? Perhaps we should outlaw fast cars, or cars in general, because they could be used to "help criminals."

I heard that some criminals use the Internet to perpetrate fraud and worse. Outlaw the Internet! (Or, at least, heavily regulate it!)

The point here is that curbing any rights for any "practical" reason is "a slap in the face" to all Americans who still believe the Constitution has some meaning.

Mr. Silverstein goes on to say that "gun manufacturers are going to glut the market with Tech-9s, Uzi's and AK-47s." This is simply false and is being used as a scare tactic. Automatic weapons are heavily controlled and have been since the gangster era of the 1920s.

Today, only semi-automatic weapons are legally available. "Semi-automatic" means that the gun will shoot one round each time the trigger is pulled. The firearms covered under the ban simply look different than other weapons, but are all semi-automatic. Silverstein tries to lay the blame for gun-related crimes on the way the guns look.

Instead, clearly the blame should rest on those individuals who commit crimes with guns.

Lastly, Silverstein repeatedly refers to "the will of the people" to reinstate this illogical ban. If it is indeed the will of the people to arbitrarily control firearms based on how they look, then let "the people" initiate a repeal of the Second Amendment, rather than taking back-door steps toward a de facto ban of all firearms.

Andrew C. McCarthy
geosciences doctoral student

Any donation is better than no donation at all

This is in response to Keith Martin's letter, which ran on Monday's paper, about the yellow bracelets which benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation. It would be wonderful if all charity were done with only the needy in mind.

Unfortunately, this just isn't the case.

However, a dollar donated for the wrong reason is better than a dollar not donated at all.

I certainly hope this "fad" lasts as long as it needs to. The fact is, people die everyday from cancer. I doubt they care where the money for the research comes from, as long as we find a cure.

If only all of our trends were this beneficial to society. Somebody should start selling mini skirts to benefit leukemia research.

Trenton Kennedy
undeclared freshman

For some, yellow bracelets just a trend

I sport my Lance Armstrong Foundation bracelet with pride as a sign that I support cancer research.

You would think that with the thousands of UA students who sport them proudly and even thousands more Tucsonans at large who display them that it would not be a problem raising funding for other cancer organizations. But that is not true.

I am participating in the Breast Cancer Three-Day walk in October and have begged these same people for donations, yet not one person has yet to come through for me or for the cause.

My goal is $2,000, and I cannot even get ten cents! This tells me that the bracelets are just a new trend for most people, and that the value behind them for many is to be "in with the in crowd," and that is it!

The bottom line is that cancer kills, and without money to find a cure, the battle against it cannot be waged and certainly cannot be won.

Jessica Kiss
psychology senior

Weapons ban did nothing for safety of Americans

In last Friday's viewpoints, some students expressed concern over the expiration of the assault weapons ban. However, their concerns may be based on a misinformed view of the AWB legislation.

Although it sounds scary that a ban on assault weapons expired, the AWB did practically nothing to further the safety of Americans. Here is a brief run-through of what the AWB did (and did not) do.

First, the AWB never regulated the sales of fully automatic weapons. Fully automatic weapons have already been heavily regulated for decades, and these regulations are still in place. Just because this ban expired does not mean people can go to the neighborhood Wal-Mart and purchase a shiny, new, fully-automatic AK-47 (which is what most people mistakenly believe).

Second, the legislation merely banned semi-automatic assault rifles based on cosmetic and largely irrelevant features such as collapsible stocks, bayonet mounts, and flash suppressors. These restrictions did nothing to reduce the lethality of these weapons, and the same banned firearms were always available without these features, making these restrictions practically useless.

Furthermore, crime rates never improved as a result of the ban, according to National Institute of Justice studies. Assault weapons are very rarely used in crimes, and besides, criminals will simply disregard restrictions established by a ban.

Considering the pointlessness of the restrictions in the AWB, and that crime rates did not ultimately improve as a result of the AWB, the ban was ineffective and unnecessary legislation. Those concerned with the expiration of the AWB have little to fear, because crime will not skyrocket like many people erroneously suggest with their rhetoric.

Sean Small
political science and economics junior

There can be more than one BBQ capital in the U.S.

Regarding Brian Danker's Thursday Sept. 16th letter about propane versus charcoal, I couldn't agree more.

I used to slow cook on the grill or a smoker up until we had kids a few years ago.

Then I started using a propane/electric grill for convenience.

Only when the circuit blew, and I was "forced" to go back to charcoal again did I realize what I'd been missing, not to mention how I'd been depriving my family of what barbequed flesh should really taste like.

Needless to say, the electric grill hasn't been fixed.

My only issue with Mr. Danker is his proclamation that Kansas City is the BBQ capital of the world.

I'm from the Deep South, near Memphis, so I'm partial to pork.

I've lived in Texas long enough to appreciate a good, slow-cooked brisket, so maybe a la LSU and USC, we can have two BBQ capitals?

Ray Rafidi

UA a learning institution, not a fashion display

Thank you to Laura Keslar for bringing up the issue of the "ugly ruffled skirts" in the Sept. 7th IOTW. I agree with her that it is bad taste; the last time I had a ruffled skirt on was in elementary school (and it was a tad bit longer).

I don't claim to be a fashion expert, and I understand these girls are "hot," but they would be a whole lot "hotter" if they wore something that didn't show certain things when they bend over (please squat if you are going to pick something up from the ground).

Show some respect for yourselves! Leave something to the imagination. This is not a fashion show; it is an institution for learning.

Malika Tazi
political science senior

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