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Letters: Newtown Shootings And 'Seasteading'

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Robert Siegel and Melissa Block correct an error made during Friday's coverage of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., and an error made in a report about people who wanted to start their own countries in international waters off the coast of California to avoid U.S. laws.


Time now for your letters but, first, two corrections. On Friday, during our continuing coverage of the school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, we made a factual error. We said that Nancy Lanza, the mother of the shooter, was associated with Sandy Hook Elementary. She was not associated with the school.


In another story yesterday, Laura Sydell reported on a gathering of people who are interested in starting new countries in international waters off the coast of California, mainly to avoid U.S. laws. She misidentified one of the people at the meeting. Adam Jones, not Jason Sussberg, said this:


ADAM JONES: They just want to avoid taxes so they can own what they make, so they can be truly free. And that's the nature of true liberty, and that's what the founders wanted in America.

BLOCK: Now to your comments about my interview yesterday with Malcolm Brady, the retired assistant director with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. We spoke yesterday about the AR-15, the semi-automatic weapon used in the Connecticut school shooting, as well as the July attack in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.


MALCOLM BRADY: They can fashion that weapon to pretty much be whatever you want it. You know, it can come in different colors. It can come with different magazines. It can come with different stocks. And it carries a very popular round that's easy to buy and it's not that expensive. The weapon has a, shall we say, a Rambo effect, just cool to carry.

SIEGEL: Several of you took issue with the word cool in Mr. Brady's description of this weapon, including Gloria Trattles(ph) of Bethesda, Maryland, who called it revolting. She writes this: I literally almost had to pull over my car to get over the nausea he induced.

BLOCK: Kevin Lonie(ph) of Bedford, New Hampshire, also thought the word cool was a poor choice in the wake of the school shooting, but he also wanted to explain why the gun has this appeal. Lonie writes: To me, a quality weapon is interesting because of the engineering that goes into it. The various features that each weapon has makes them interesting.

SIEGEL: We appreciate your comments. You can send them to us at, just click on Contact Us at the bottom of the page.



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