The definition of 'reasonable' is relative

Re: the Feb 3 editorial "Proposed changes to US gun laws are reasonable."

You seem to think of yourselves as reasonable by only opposing what you consider the extremes of gun ownership. However, Second Amendment advocates see nothing at all reasonable about this position.

To understand their thinking, please consider this analogy:

A pro-life supporter, aware of the political realities in 2013, would probably have no problem with an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would allow women to have one abortion, but any more would be illegal in all 50 states.

This person would feel this is a reasonable compromise, but I don't think a pro-choice advocate would.

Douglas R. Holm

Certified public accountant, Tucson

Gun owners are your neighbors

Re: the Feb. 3 letter to the editor "Some see stash of guns as sign of weakness."

I am not sure where the letter writer met those humorless, brooding, angry gun owners he mentioned. I have attended and sold at gun shows for decades. I see few thugs, far less than in public or at sporting events.

I cannot read the "testosterone parlor" line without laughing. Folks are far more polite at gun shows than ever I have seen in public.

What I have seen is tearful applause for a soldier returning from overseas deployment, talk of fishing, childhood memories, cars, dogs and mostly history. Grandparents showing off photos of kids are most common. But history seems to be our common thread.

I own a large "stash" of guns, as I am a collector. Even if I never shoot the gun, to own a piece of history is thrilling to me. Not because I am a humorless kook.

You portray us as outsiders. We are you neighbors, sir.

T. Smith

Caregiver, Tucson

Let's please return the 'r' to 'February'

What is happening to February's "r?" Most of us learned to pronounce it correctly when we were kids, though there were always a few who never bothered to use the "r." They were usually the folks who didn't care much about grammar across the board, though, and the mistake didn't surprise us.

Now, however, the omission seems to be invading society. Regis Philbin, whom I respect and admire, has always said it incorrectly, but almost all the other educated people would no more say "Febuary" than they would say "libary" instead of "library."

Now I hear TV personalities and many other highly educated people mispronounce the word, including several movie stars during the Golden Globe Awards.

Will the mistaken version become acceptable? I hope not. Though I know change happens, I don't like hearing it in progress.

Lee Schnebly

Educator and musician, Tucson

'Teaching' Indians was done brutally

Re: the Feb. 5 letter to the editor "Christian principles should be taught."

The letter said: "Thomas Jefferson professed that the principles of Christ must be taught in public schools as well as Indian tribes. Secularists say religion is fine as long as it remains a private affair and does not spill over into areas of morality, education and politics. But this is not American History."

While "teaching" the Indian tribes the principles of Christ, native children were wrested from their parents and put in schools where they were forced to wear white man's clothes and were beaten if they spoke their own language. Somehow I don't think Christ would have approved.

The secularists had it right - whatever your beliefs, fine. But don't force your beliefs on others.

Please, let's not gloss over history.

Susi Learn

Retired, Tucson

City's gun-checks vote an important first step

Re: the Feb . 6 article "City OKs requirement for background checks."

I'm delighted that Tucson's mayor and council have taken the significant step of insisting on background checks for gun sales on city-owned or -managed property. This is obviously just one of many measures needed to cumulatively decrease the likelihood of deadly weapons being far too easily accessible to people who should not have them.

But it is an important step, and if it weren't, I suspect it wouldn't have met the objections of those among us who believe - I started to write "think" but their rationale is emotional, not intellectual - there should be no restrictions on "the right to keep and bear arms."

Frank Bergen

Retired clergy, Tucson