In response to James Snyder's anti-gun rage, "The problem is us" (Friday), perhaps the problem is with this writer along with his anti-gun victimology rants.

"Raging Against Self Defense: A Psychiatrist Examines The Anti-Gun Mentality" by Sarah Thompson, M.D., illustrates this phobia. To read this article simply access www.jpfo.org and enter "search." Criminals prefer unarmed victims! — James A. Farmer, Ashland

President Bush says that Congress shouldn't micromanage a war. Normally, I might agree with him, but these are not normal times and he is not a normal president.

You may or may not agree that he and his administration deliberately misled the American people about the need to fight this war. But who can disagree that the war has been ridiculously mismanaged and has turned into a horrifying disaster for Iraqis and Americans alike?

Most conservative opinion leaders who originally supported the war agree with this statement, as do many retired generals — that is, generals who are free from retribution by Bush. Yet Bush and his cronies look at the same mess and say we're well on the road to success. If Congress won't help manage the war, we are leaving its management to an administration that lost its grip on reality a long time ago. — Alan Reder, Rogue River

Lately a television ad regarding secondhand smoke has been aired on local channels. A poor woman who had occupational exposure (waitress) was dying from lung cancer. How preventable and tragic.

Oregon is the only West Coast state without a ban on public smoking. Recently, on a trip to L.A., I noticed how nice it was that every public venue I went to was smoke-free.

Our Oregon state Legislature has failed miserably on the issue of smoke-free public areas. It would be nice if they took their hands out of special-interest pockets and did the people's business. — V. Handel, Medford

Brenna May complains that "'partial-birth' is a non-medical term" used to frame the debate in "extreme terms." She would prefer something less descriptive.

Abortionists call it "dilation and extraction." That sounds harmless, like a root canal. Using innocent sounding language may make Ms. May feel better, but it doesn't change the fact that, in a "dilation and extraction," a baby gets her brains sucked out while she's hanging from her mother, inches from birth.

Ms. May pleads, "Instead of legislating morality, let us deal in reality." I wonder if she feels that way about rape. How dare we "legislate morality" by outlawing rape? Instead, shouldn't we work "to reduce (rape) through good parenting, honest communication and education ..."?

Ms. May pretends that abortion doesn't have a victim. In reality, abortion, like rape, is a violent atrocity committed against the innocent to satisfy the attacker.

The sad truth is that outlawing partial birth abortion won't save a single baby. Abortionists will continue to kill babies using other gruesome abortion procedures. The barbarism will continue as long as we avert our eyes, use pretty language to hide the truth, and pretend that babies are not being butchered. — Phil Hunkler, Grants Pass

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