Today's L.A. Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:
Opponents of gun control say that the assault weapons ban of 1994-2004 had no effect, so why go back there. First, we can fashion a better law without the many loopholes of the previous ban. Second, everyone ignores what happened after the ban ended — not just here but everywhere.
Mass killings became more frequent in Mexico, where thousands of seized guns from the U.S. — assault-style rifles in particular — have ended up. Our guns didn't cause the drug war in Mexico, but their easy availability all along the border (hundreds of shops and gun shows every year) have made it much more deadly.
About 50,000 to 70,000 people have been killed since 2007. This criminality in turn affects us, with the drug cartels using U.S. gangs to distribute their product.
David R. Ayón
The writer is the U.S. director of the binational Focus Mexico/Enfoque Mexico project at Loyola Marymount University's Center for the Study of Los Angeles.
I am making a plea to law-abiding assault gun owners. They can lead the hero's way after the massacre in Connecticut by voluntarily forfeiting their assault-style weapons and large magazine clips.
I own a gun and believe in our 2nd Amendment right to have weapons for personal protection and to hunt, yet this plea is for them to go beyond the rhetoric of all or nothing and to make gun ownership a rational right.
Our 2nd Amendment was designed to prevent tyranny, but with assault weapons proliferating across our nation, the tyranny comes from our fellow citizens. They should unload their assault weapons and large magazines in a public ceremony and invite the media to witness the laying down of arms.