After 4.5 years in college, I graduated with a B.A. in political science, and a commission in the U. S. Army. The next two years I was on active duty, the second year in Vietnam. I qualified “sharpshooter” with an M-1 Garand and an M-14. At various times in Vietnam, I carried an M-16 or a .45-caliber automatic.

I have taken familiarization courses with other firearms of that era. I am an NRA member. I have an Illinois FOID card, but I have never purchased a firearm in my life. I am likely more knowledgeable than the 90% of the population. Mike Perricone (“When and how will this insanity end,” Letters, Feb. 22) cites as wanting “commonsense” solutions. I know enough to know that I don’t know enough to pontificate on a legislative answer to this “insanity.”

If the issues were nuclear reactor procedures or brain surgery regulation no one would be looking for “commonsense” solutions. However, since 90% of us have watched John Wayne and Bruce Willis movies, that 90% is prepared to accept the notion of an unspecified “commonsense” solution to a rather complex problem. 

The first time this was tried, during the Clinton Administration, the definition of “assault rifles,” written by the well-meaning but ignorant, was so defective as to cause more problems than it solved.

In Illinois we have criminal statutes about firearms used in felonies so good and so severe that prosecutors are said to resort to plea bargains giving deserving felons a lesser sentence. 

In theory our FOID card system should guarantee the constitutional right of most citizens to buy a firearm if they wish while preventing those who should not be allowed from doing so. 

The FOID department is understaffed, backlogged, and underequipped. Try calling the phone number on the back of an FOID card and see if neither man nor machine answers the phone.

It has been said that every difficult problem has a solution that’s simple, easy and wrong. That describes “commonsense” solutions in a nutshell.

C.P. Hall, Brookfield