Too many guns

EDITOR: You made the truly shocking statement that there are approximately 270 million guns in the U.S. and that they are owned by an increasingly smaller number of people ("How many guns do we buy?" Jan. 20). That means that, even though the number of gun owners is decreasing, these people own more and more guns per person — like the mom in Newtown, Conn. who owned six guns and whose deranged son killed her and then killed 20 innocent schoolchildren.

I'm not aware that any of the well-intentioned but feckless gun- control proposals out there, including those of our president, would deal with this ownership problem. And spare me the lament that the assault weapon ban we had was not effective; it was not effective because the gun lobby gutted it so it wouldn't be effective.

In the coming months, maybe we will close the private gun sale loophole and take a few steps to improve background checks. And maybe we will limit the size of ammunition magazines that can be sold. But these steps are not going to do much to improve the culture of gun violence we already have. None of these steps will reduce the gun ownership or the mega-size clips we are already surrounded by. To do that one would have to move to another country.