In the short time since Sandy Hook, more than 1,000 gun-related deaths have taken place.

In our ongoing reflection, our debate, our discussion of Second Amendment rights and reasonable regulation, it is important to acknowledge that the issue is not just one of guns or no guns, but of Second Amendment responsibilities and public safety. We should be able to have both. Sandy Hook and other incidents have now made us really look at these questions, which are emotional from both or all perspectives.

One thing we can do is really try to see and be informed even where we are uncomfortable, or have to question our own assumptions or entrenched positions. Accepting a status quo of some 12,000 gun deaths a year as just how it is, is really to embrace our impotence to find a better way. Toward the end of finding that better way and for those interested, I'd recommend the recent Frontline programs on the gun issue as polarized in Newtown as well as the clips on Adam Lanza: www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/ — Rob Hirschboeck, Ashland

Gary R. Collins' (Feb. 21) angst-ridden letter against creationists displays a basic frustration: How does one explain how something beautiful comes from nothing?

Typical of many creation critics, he descends to caricature (Luddites), and condescension (anti-intellectual trash). A Rolex watch, like the mammalian eye, is irreducibly complex. That is, many components must be present and functioning properly all at once to work. This takes intelligent design. No doubt Mr. Collins would prefer we ignore many conundrums, such as the utter absence of transitional species in the fossil record.

Darwinism is itself a fossil. A dead theory. Both require faith, much more so for the naturalistic worldview. — Bruce Edwards, Central Point

In a society that is now saturated in unprovoked violence, we wonder why youngsters have such apathy toward the feelings of other living beings. I'd like to believe that we would raise our children to respect all beings and not to destroy that which we cannot replace.

Recently, you ran a story in which a man shot a bear in an unprovoked attack. The bear tried to protect itself from its attacker, but did not succeed. This needless death no doubt earned the killer the status of "hero" to some, but there are some of us who may disagree. We feel that all life has value and that the unnecessary killing of any helpless being is uncalled for. Killers are not heroes.

I respect that it is your duty to keep the public informed, but hope that in the future you will exercise certain restraint and not glorify the killing of innocent, helpless beings; what kind of world would we live in if none of us would be safe when we step out the door? Then again, we may already be there. — Louise Garner, White City

The leadership is poor, not to say I could do better, but after the millions of dollars spent to win the election I would expect better.

The local IRS office was staffed by one person on a recent day, and by a guy with a big gun strapped to his hip.

This is an office to help this area of at least 150,000 people. It presents itself to a Catch-22. The IRS wants to collect more money for our government to spend, and has less folks to collect it.

Also, where is the news with regard to the Russian Bear bombers flying around the U.S. air bases in Guam? — David Maness, Medford

We spend money and blood in countries throughout the world at the sacrifice and expense of the livelihood of the citizens of the United States.

Our defense budget takes precedence over domestic programs. Don't get me wrong, we have always been and always will be a people to come to the aid of people in need any place on the globe.

We accomplished our original goal in Iraq. Why are we still there? I keep hearing we will be maintaining our armed forces in harm's way in other countries for untold years to come.

Sure, it's our moral responsibility to help those in need. Let us not do it at the expense of tearing holes in our own infrastructure, and depleting what we have worked so hard for.

Doesn't anyone remember or have any regard for "We the People?"

Congress, it's our money and we need it now! — Hugh Hendrickson, Phoenix

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