To the editor:
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under Heaven.” So says Scripture, and never has this passage meant so much, as we wipe away our tears and struggle to come to grips with the senseless deaths of six amazing educators and 20 little children who had their whole lives ahead of them. Now is not just the time to “start a conversation.” Now is the time for action.
Every year, 11,000 people die in this country from gun violence, all in the name of the Second Amendment. Now is the time to realize that our “right to bear arms” has to have reasonable, sensible limits or we risk destroying more fundamental rights, to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Other nations have achieved both freedom and safety with reasonable and sensible gun regulations. In 2011, gun deaths in Japan numbered 48, Great Britain 8, Switzerland 34, Canada 52, Israel 58, Sweden 21, Germany 42, while the United States had an astronomical 10,728. It’s time to stop kidding ourselves. Guns don’t make us safe. And guns are expensive. Gun injuries and deaths raise our insurance rates, weigh heavily on our medical facilities, cost our police agencies time and treasure. They don’t pay for themselves. They cost us dearly.
Semi-automatic weapons are not meant for killing deer or duck, but for killing humans. To protect our homes we don’t need guns capable of holding enough ammunition to wipe out a single classroom without reloading. Let’s face it — some people should be able to get weapons and some people shouldn’t. Background checks are necessary to prevent disturbed people, people with criminal histories, from purchasing deadly weapons either at a store, a gun show, or online.
We must demand sensible gun regulations so we don’t have to keep wiping away our tears over and over again, year after year, and simply wondering when this will all end. It ends now! Make your voice heard!
Donna Ertel Riley