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Feedback 12/30 

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Gun laws don't deter terrorists

Yet another call for more gun control (Urban Journal, December 9). It seems to matter little that the initial purchase of the firearms used in San Bernardino was in accord with California's strict regulations. In addition, there are ample legal sanctions for providing firearms later used in the commission of a felony. (Ask Dawn Nguyen about this.)

Ms. Towler's contempt for those wishing to legally own firearms is tiresome.

Next up will be demands for biometric grips and the microstamping of ammo. None of this would deter an Islamofascist terrorist for one instant. These improvements would certainly raise the cost of firearms. Perhaps that is the real intent: make firearms so costly and the purchase process so onerous that only nice middle-class people "like us" can aspire to own them.


Which side are we on?

A Rochester man, Mufid Elfgeeh, recently pleaded guilty to attempting to provide "material support or resources" (recruits) to ISIS. The prosecution explained that the sentence is part of ongoing efforts to defeat the terrorist organization. While I appreciate the arrest, am I alone in also appreciating the shameless irony in the charges?

In fact, the US has provided material support and resources to ISIS for years, despite all rhetoric to the contrary. Consider these well-documented facts:

The US devastation of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria provided the fertile soil for the emergence of ISIS;

The US has fueled massive ISIS recruitment from former Iraqi Ba'athists, Syrian "moderate rebels," and countless victims of drones;

Enormous quantities of abandoned US weapons in Iraq, Libya, and Syria have ended up in the hands of ISIS;The US has systematically avoided challenging ISIS's daily transport of Iraqi oil, its funding lifeblood, through the porous border of US ally Turkey;

The US provides substantial resources to ISIS through its alliance with Saudi Arabia, widely recognized as the most significant source of funding for ISIS and other Sunni jihadist groups. President Obama just completed a $1.3 billion arms deal with the Saudis, following a $60 billion arms sale in 2010, the single largest sale of weapons to a foreign nation in the history of the US;

Finally, US insistence on Syrian regime change over ISIS defeat further enables ISIS and obstructs a coalition that could defeat ISIS. In Syria, the US shares the same goal as ISIS, each trying to topple the Syrian government.

We might start asking ourselves, in the fight against ISIS, which side are we really on?


Does the City of Rochester treat all festivals equally, in terms of funding and in-kind support? A committee is looking into it. Our readers weighed in:

Cost per attendee might be considered as well as economic impact and effect on the city's image.


In particular, of course, is the question about why the for-profit Jazz Festival, which refuses to open its books, deserves the public support that it gets, while other festivals, many of which are nonprofit, not only don't receive support but have to pay significantly for services such as police.


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