Letter: Stop rationalizing the epidemic of gun violence in America

Posted 9/5/19

Last week’s letter by Peter Hewett, titled “It ain’t the gun that kills,” argued that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. The writer is certainly entitled to his …

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Letter: Stop rationalizing the epidemic of gun violence in America

Posted

Last week’s letter by Peter Hewett, titled “It ain’t the gun that kills, argued that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. The writer is certainly entitled to his opinion, but I find that argument to be a convenient rationalization that doesn’t hold water.

The United States is suffering an epidemic of gun-related violence that is tied directly to our lack of rational gun regulation. The level of gun violence does not occur in countries that have rational gun laws.

Those who make this argument follow the trope promoted by the NRA, that the problems are mental health, high rates of criminal activity and other societal problems. I agree and would add another to the list, and that is the unapologetic racism and incendiary white supremist rhetoric spewing from President Donald Trump and his propagandists. Those are all important contributing issues and should be addressed with priority, especially the last one.

But this is where their logic falls apart. It is not an either/or situation. It is self-serving to rationalize something so consequential in such a simple manner. Of course we should address those issues, however we should also implement sensible gun regulation. We should do everything in our power to ensure our safety and provide freedom from violence. What is the alternative?

The Second Amendment states (in its entirety): “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” The intent is clear … regulate appropriately and provide for our safety, or in their words our inalienable right to ‘Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness.’

It is certainly not intended to enable domestic terrorism and the unabated murder of our children, innocent citizens and minorities by white supremacists.

Mr. Hewitt likens an AR-15 to a Corvette. Not an issue with the Car, it’s the driver. An AR-15 is a military weapon intended for one purpose: to kill humans rapidly and with certainty. That is different than a sports car. Twenty-nine people were killed by assault rifles in Texas alone in the last three weeks.

Guns are more dangerous than cars, but gun violence can be reduced if we simply regulated gun use the same way. Guns should be registered to individuals and have the government control the title. Gun users should require to have a user’s license, pass an exam, be mentally and physically fit and secure insurance. Simple regulations otherwise accepted as normal would have prevented this violence in Texas and so many other heinous assaults.

It is time to protect ourselves from those self-serving individuals who use the Second Amendment to put their head in the sand and rationalize the epidemic of gun violence in our country. This assault on our safety has reached epidemic levels, and it has been exacerbated by the NRA and some of our politicians who have not prioritized our safety above those of special interest groups.

The NRA has 5 million members, what about the other 325 million of us who are threatened by their self-serving and false logic?

Steve Kloeblen
Bristol

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