All stricter gun laws accomplish is to make it harder for law-abiding citizens to legally purchase a legally produced or imported weapon, not the "illegal" kind New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to keep off the streets ("Mayors push to keep guns from terrorists," Opinion, Dec. 9). Criminals do not care about complex webs of red tape and laws, so for all of your effort, you simply disarm the average law-abiding citizen.

Law-abiding citizens should not be punished for the actions of the few. By suggesting that everyone on the no-fly list should be prevented from purchasing a gun, you are effectively calling everyone on that list a terrorist.

Would having access to purchase records have prevented the attack at Fort Hood, Texas? Maybe. That may have prevented suspect Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan from purchasing a handgun legally, but it would not have prevented him from buying a weapon illegally. Guns are fairly easy to acquire on the street, and there are no background checks.

Doesn’t it seem odd that we put guns into the hands of our military members, send them to war for extended and repeated amounts of time, yet when they get home, they are not trusted with carrying those very same weapons?

We are all responsible for our own security. To rely on the police (and military police) to provide all security in all instances is misguided. In general, first responders are the clean-up crew, taking statements and collecting evidence. Stricter gun laws all but guarantee a Fort Hood repeat. New York City has some of the strictest gun laws, yet those laws did nothing to prevent the shooting in Times Square on Dec. 10.

We have laws on the books for those who commit crimes. Try enforcing those before forcing new laws on the rest of the country.

Tech. Sgt. Thomas BarriereClovis, N.M.

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