No one is yelling for a complete blackout of weapons. The idea of changing laws made years ago is not to punish the law-abiding citizen, but to make it harder for the other kind to obtain their weapons. Maybe no law could keep the real criminals from getting guns, but if even a few people who intended nothing but harm were denied guns, how many law-abiding citizens would that save? If just one, it would be worth it.
While I hesitate to carp in the face of the deep thinking reflected in your editorial, "Arms and the Law," I would suggest that you don't quite go far enough. What is really needed, as you must know, is a law to force everyone to carry a gun at all times. That would stop the muggers "going free," as you so exquisitely put it.
The core of the problem (oh, how right you are again!) is that some people don't understand guns. Do you know, I still meet people who think that guns are dangerous?
PAUL M. GARDNER
New York City
Your article defending the rights of the sportsman to own and buy guns is something that needed to be said. I only wish more people could see that harsh and stupid laws only apply to the law-abiding; the fanatics and criminals can always get guns. If I ever get in a position where I can afford only one magazine it will be SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
The final regular-season pro football game between Pittsburgh and New York, which determines the Eastern Division representative in the NFL championship game, serves as a reminder of the erroneous way in which the NFL computes its league standings. The present method, determining the winner according to won-lost percentage (ties excluded), is not only confusing but downright unfair. A Pittsburgh win over New York would have given the Steelers an 8-3-3 record and .727 percentage (compared to the Giants' 10-4-0, .714) and thus, under the present system, the division title. Six times during the season Pittsburgh failed to defeat its opponent. New York failed only four times, yet Pittsburgh still wins the title.
Would it not be more sensible and equitable to follow the point-system procedure used by the National Hockey League whereby a win is worth 2 points, a tie 1 point, and a loss 0? This system considers the possibility of tie games and rates them where they belong—between a win and a loss.
Using this system, Pittsburgh's 8-3-3 record would be worth 19 points, and New York's 10-4-0 would be worth 20 points.
It is time the NFL awoke to the fact that, in the absence of a sudden-death period, the tie game is a definite part of pro football and should be rated accordingly.
BRADFORD S. CUSHING