'Bagging' bighorn is warped 'sport'

Re: the Jan. 19 article "Tucson boy, 10, bags bighorn; he's youngest in recent history."

This story and bizarre photo of a smiling 10-year-old with a dead bighorn sheep shocked and disgusted me. It boggles my mind that any parent could be proud that their son "bagged" - as in shot to death - such a beautiful free-roaming creature.

There are hundreds of more life-affirming options for bringing joy and a sense of accomplishment to a diabetic child, other than ending the life of an exquisite animal. The Arizona Game and Fish Department should re-examine its policy of drawing names for such a warped sense of "sport"!

Sylvia Thorson-Smith

Retired sociology professor, Tucson

Our values suggest we're a lost civilization

Re: the Jan. 19 article "Tucson boy, 10, bags bighorn; he's youngest in recent history."

Who needs the NRA when we have gunfight re-enactments, movie and TV kills ad nauseam, video games for kids to learn how to commit massacres, Congress stocked with bought knuckleheads, athletic events billed as "shootouts," parents proud of their kids killing animals such as bighorn sheep and being photographed like junior big game hunters. (Does joy on a child's face trump a beautiful freshly killed animal's face, shot down just for fun?)

And who needs advertisements for a product that kills far more than our war and car deaths put together when not a single merchant in town is willing to pass up the chance to make big money from selling justly named "coffin nails," featured as you walk in the front door? Is anyone willing to pass up a dollar for what used to be called integrity and concern for the life, liberty and happiness of others? Or was F. Scott Fitzgerald right when he said we are a lost civilization?

David Ray

Poet, Tucson

NRA should work to make guns safer

NRA supporters argue that cars kill people as well as guns, but fail to acknowledge all the laws that have been written to reduce deaths and injuries from cars. NRA supporters suffer from the paranoid delusion that the government will "take away" their guns.

No one has tried to take away my car. Automobile manufacturers and our government have worked together to make cars safer. The NRA and its supporters have refused to work to reduce deaths and injuries from guns.

Responsible gun owners who use their weapons for hunting and recreation should resign from the NRA and work to eliminate guns that fail to meet a reasonable standard of need for those two purposes.

John Harlan

Retired educator, Sahuarita

Restrict access to multiclip weapons

A moment of anger is all it takes for a completely sane person to grab a weapon and create mayhem.

The folks who have multiclip weapons, on the other hand, are a bit different. They've invested time and energy to acquire them. Their decision to use them isn't an impulsive one; instead it's one they have thought through quite clearly.

This raises the question of why a person would go to such lengths to kill a large group of people. The obvious answer is they're angry. They're angry at someone or something and vow that someone is going to pay for it.

So what do we know about anger? It's fun to be angry. There's tremendous joy in it. Some people are so engrossed in it they go so far as to imagine the chaos that will ensue if they commit absolute mayhem. And when you add in a conviction they believe they have been wronged in some way, you have the ingredients for disaster.

So how do you guard against folks like this? You restrict access to multiclip weapons to start with, and then try your best to find out what's behind someone's anger.

Jim Dreis

Author, Tucson

NRA needs to look in a mirror

Re: the Jan. 18 "Fact Check."

Hypocrisy cited by NRA, indeed!

If the NRA is truly concerned about "school safety and protecting all of our children," why then has the NRA not wholeheartedly supported efforts to do just that? The NRA's encouragement of "arming" our schools appears somewhat self-serving at best.

All that the American people - including our children - have heard from the NRA is "no" in response to improving gun regulation.

Also, the NRA's ads are focusing on ... "to make sure we point out that there is a double standard that exists" in our country.

This focus is from a group that wants to make sure children are safe?

It appears to me that there is some hypocrisy afoot, and the NRA needs to look in the mirror.

Lesa R. Naughton