Letter to the Editor: Gun Control


Dear Editor
A recent study showed that gunfire is now the leading cause of death among children, replacing car accidents. At one time, America was thought of as the ideal country to live in, which other countries sought to imitate. President Reagan referred to it as “The shining city on a hill.” Now, because of the high levels of gun violence and deaths , we more often hear of other countries strengthening their gun laws because “We don’t want to become like the United States.” America stands high above other highly developed nations in the level of such violence.
Gun owners are quick to cite the second amendment to the Constitution which does allow citizens to bear arms, but at the time it was written the most common weapon was a musket. Our forefathers could not have foreseen the over three hundred million firearms in the hands of private citizens, much less the automatic weapons that were intended for warfare. Polls have consistently shown that a sizeable majority of Americans support ). Sensible gun control laws. They most commonly include: universal background checks (guns shows have ways to get around them) ,no one under 21 allowed to buy an automatic firearm, and a waiting period of three days between the customer’s purchase of a gun and them being able to pick it up. But most Republicans, and some Democrats, object to any further restrictions at all, mostly because of the huge campaign contributions they get from the NRA and other wealthy donors.
Among the most ardent gun enthusiasts in the US House of Representatives is Lauren Boebert who sent out Christmas cards showing her entire family, including youngsters, proudly toting their rifles. Another zealot is R Andrew Clyde who passed out lapels pins in the shape of AR 14s on the House floor A few house members wore them.

Meanwhile, the carnage goes on. Gang violence in our big cities claims thousands of lives a year. Gang members as young as their early teens , sometimes toting AR 15s, continue to wage their wars. Often, innocent bystanders are also killed. Mass shootings are more than a daily occurance. People have been shot because of road rage, walking on someone’s lawn, because they displayed a rainbow flag, or because of their race or religion.
Many gun enthusiasts claim that increased mental health screenings to predict future killers are the answer. But very few killers, even mass murderer, have any record that would predict such violence. Somehow, we must continue to push for measures to combat all this. Greatly increased mass demonstrations and bombarding lawmakers with emails might help. But the best way for real change would be to refuse to vote for anyone who does not support meaningful gun control legislation.

Marilyn Ooms