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Readers' Letters: 'Banks' hurt responsible gun owners

Jeff Woodall, you’re a bit of a simpleton if you believe the problem lies with responsible gun owners and the guns they have in their home (Letters, Jan. 3).

I can see how it could have possibly turned out differently a few years ago when a criminal was breaking into my home at 2 a.m. If I had needed to try to leave my home — if that was even possible — and get to a “Community Gun Bank” to retrieve one of my weapons (if the gun bank was open) and get back in time to protect my family, it may have turned out negatively.

As it was, my gun was readily available and a criminal who had a “deadly” weapon was stopped and my family was safe.

I have been around guns all my life. My father had guns and so did my mother. I was taught a very healthy respect for guns and I, in turn, have passed that respect on to my family. There has never been an accidental discharge of any weapon I have ever owned.

So please, Mr. Woodall, stop thinking that the answer is to disable the honest, responsible citizen by locking away their “legally obtained” guns, because it is not.

James McDermott

Northwest Portland

Mall shootings cast pall on life

So I’m standing at the foot of the escalator at Von Maur department store in Omaha, Neb., a few weeks ago, my eyes searching for the store directory. They rested upon a bronze plaque set into the wall. Will this tell me where I can find the area that sells pajamas?

No. It listed the names of those that were killed in a notorious shooting there on Dec. 5, 2007. I remember at that time how disconcerting it was to drive home from work, past the mall, with the Christmas lights blazing along the roofline of the store, and imagining the terror, and the now lifeless bodies that lay within.

So, on Dec. 11, the reports from the Clackamas Town Center shooting filtered in on CNN, and I understand how the citizens of Portland feel. Those removed from the situation,but a part of it nonetheless by dint of residing or working within proximity to the event will survive another day, to shop, purchase and procure, wonder, in their own way, if they can find pajamas and instead find a bronze plaque inscribed with the names of the dead, and wonder if they are standing on a carefully disguised slab of bloodstained tile or walking in the final footsteps of an innocent bystander who, in those fraught last moments, was just looking for pajamas themselves.

E.L. Zorko

Omaha, Neb.