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In response to the Washington Post editorial “The danger of adding lax gun laws to the mix” in the Jan. 5 edition of Stars and Stripes: Was the author daydreaming when preparing this editorial?

I find it disturbing that the conclusion to this story is “blame guns and gun laws” for the acts of a mentally ill and deranged individual. Maybe Washington state should make murder illegal. Oh wait, it is!

The only people who adhere to laws are law-abiding citizens. If a person is dead set on possessing a firearm, he or she will, legal or not. Making it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to arm and defend themselves is a direct violation of the U.S. Constitution.

If [alleged park ranger killer Benjamin Colton] Barnes’ ex-girlfriend filed a restraining order against him, citing that he had weapons and may use them to harm her or their child, the law enforcement agency involved dropped the ball. Under Title 18 U.S.C. Section 922(g)(8)his right to bear arms was suspended as soon as he was served, and his weapons should have been confiscated.

It is a terrible situation, and my heart goes out to the families hurt by this tragedy. At the same time, I ask that we enforce the laws we already have, not create more of a political and legal bureaucracy that only penalizes law-abiding citizens.

Petty Officer 1st Class Geoffrey Goodwill

Southwest Asia

Coverage sensationalized

Regarding the article “Defendants unaware of Army crime lab’s errors” on your Jan. 5 cover, let me make sure I have this right: Kirk Holcombe was accused of trying to unzip an 11-year-old girl’s pants while she was asleep. Several discrepancies were later found in the work of the crime lab analyst in unrelated cases. This information was provided to Holcombe and his lawyer before his trial. To avoid going to trial, Holcombe and his lawyer decided to accept the Army’s offer of a general discharge. And this is somehow a scandal?

Holcombe is portrayed as being victimized by the Army’s sinister criminal justice system. “It’s ruined me” and “I just want my name cleared,” he laments. Yet the man voluntarily accepted a general discharge and avoided trial for allegedly assaulting an 11-year-old girl.

I wonder how the girl or her parents feel about this case, or about Stars and Stripes putting such a sensationalistic article on its cover.

Maj. Robert Merrill

Naval Support Activity Bahrain

Stripes in 7

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