To decrease homicides, government should ban knives

Re: "Government should start by confiscating firearms," From Readers, March 29

Let's apply some logic to Greg Thrasher's stance that people with guns kill people, therefore, we should indiscriminately disarm everybody.

According to FBI data, there were 453 homicides by rifle in 2007.However, in that same year there were also 1,817 homicides committed with knives or cutting instruments; 674 with blunt objects (clubs, hammers, etc.) and 869 with "personal" weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.).

The data reveal that the most murderous weapon in this country is a knife. So if we take Thrasher's suggestion that we outlaw any weapon that people use to kill other people, we should begin with knives. (I have no idea how we can outlaw hands, feet, and fists.)

A more sensible approach is to use every reasonable measure to keep guns out of the hands of potential outlaws, not out of the hands of law-abiding citizens who want to protect themselves from the outlaws.

Also, Thrasher's resort to race-baiting only underscores the fact that his argument lacks merit.

Angela McIntosh


Same-sex marriage debate is really about money

Re: "Supreme Court should stay out of Obama's war on marriage," March 28

The same-sex marriage debate is really about taxpayer subsidies to couples, typically those without children, in the form of pension and health benefits as well as inheritance-tax evasion. If children cannot inherit a parent's estate without paying federal taxes, why should a friend or lover?

Historical precedence behind the legal definition of marriage comes with the presumption of "dependent" children and their maternal caretakers. Married couples share all assets and don't pay inheritance taxes, presumably to provide financial security to surviving dependents.

Although women's ability to join the workforce has made them less dependent on their husbands for financial support, most heterosexual marriages have dependent children. On the other hand, most same-sex couples make a conscious choice not to rear children, female couples being the exception.

Perhaps a fair compromise would be to retain the historical definition of marriage between a man and a woman, but allow same-sex couples to apply for official married status only if they have dependent children.

The religious argument against homosexuality itself is inappropriate in our legal system. However, it is immoral to provide taxpayer subsidies to partnerships of grown men without children who would otherwise have no inherent justification for public assistance.

Judy West

San Francisco

Examiner readers were never asked to save paper

Re: "Local news coverage will be sorely missed," From Readers, March 25

Perhaps if Washington Examiner readers were told some of the reasoning behind your decision to stop publication of the newspaper, it would help us understand. A poll might shed some light on what your dedicated readers would be willing to do to prevent it.

I canceled my Washington Post subscription and picked up The Examiner at the Metro every day. I would be willing to pay for a subscription, and I surmise that many others would be willing to as well, perhaps more than you realize. If cost was a determining factor in the decision to cease publication, would a subscriber base change advertiser support and save the paper?

Just a thought, as The Examiner will be missed and I do not recall the readership ever being asked if that would be a feasible option. If you never ask, you never know.

Pete Peterson