Just as "patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel," so too is the Second Amendment the last refuge of many gun owners who suffer from an undiagnosed parapsychology easily recognized as the "macho" personality, the exaggeration of male stereotypical behavior.

Real men don't need a gun to feel like a real man. They don't need an oversized, overpowered four-wheel-drive pickup that they seldom drive off a paved highway or carry much more than a small bundle of kindling.

Real men don't need to wear a black cowboy hat or sport a beard that appears as if they've just eaten a toilet brush. Real men know there's only one real way to becoming a real man. They know they must set aside their immature need to affect the imagined posture of a manly hero and to just grow up. — Matthew Lubic, Talent

In his Feb. 6 letter, Mr. Saunders explained the difference between semiautomatic and automatic firearms. As a former Army officer and lifelong hunter, I disagree with some of Saunders' statements.

Yes, semiautomatic rifles fire one bullet with each trigger pull. Automatic rifles can fire continuously with one trigger pull. Saunders implies that semiautos cannot fire rapidly. In fact, a semiautomatic can easily fire 120 rounds per minute, limited only by the size of the magazine and heat tolerance of the barrel. Semiautomatic weapons with large-capacity magazines, regardless of appearance, can be formidable weapons.

Saunders states that many hunters have semiautomatic weapons.

Semiautomatics are not appropriate for hunting. My .270 rifle has put many a deer in the freezer with one bullet. On the farm, my lever-action .22 rifle has removed more than one groundhog with one bullet each. I carry only two cartridges in my deer rifle. We had a saying there in Central Appalachia, "One shot, kill; two shots, maybe; three shots, miss." Any hunter who needs a semiautomatic to hunt is either a p——poor shot or a trigger-happy nut, both of whom shouldn't be allowed to hunt! — Don Morris, Ashland

When the Second Amendment states that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be Infringed, it is not speaking about firearms per se, but about the right to own and carry arms (the tools) for personal protection.

When a father out on a hunt in Africa with his 12-year-old son was killed by a lion, the boy, trained in self-defense, faced the lion. At the right moment, the boy knelt down, placed his spear into the ground at a 45-degree angle, impaling the attacking lion.

Herding children into locked rooms will not provide protection against human predators focused upon their demise. Such incorrect behavior affords predators a place to choose his corralled victims. We must stand and face predators with weapons at our immediate disposal to keep them at bay, or, if necessary, as in the case of that well-trained African lad, destroy them.

Safety comes from diligent self-defense, not from imagining peace. Every parent has a responsibility to provide self-defense for themselves and their children. It begins with proper nutrition and proceeds to everything else. As a proxy for the parent, teachers that refuses to accept that responsibility, are unfit to mentor children. — Fox Grimaldi, Ashland

I was appalled by the recent decision by the Oregon Supreme Court for sanctioning Tim Barnack for his comments on the serial child molester who was in his court. In my opinion, he was saying what most people were thinking and just didn't have the nerve to say.

I think the man should be applauded and not made to feel that he has done something to offend this piece of dog crap who was on trial. Child molesters have no place on the planet and should all be stuck on an island somewhere so they can do their sick deeds to each other. The judicial system needs to take a new stance on these people and put them away for good.

They should not be allowed to be in a place that they will be able to do these crimes to others' children and they will. It's a fact, you cannot rehabilitate these freaks, and they should be put away for life. I'm completely offended. — Jerry Tinsley, Medford

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