To the editor:
America is deeply saddened by our problem with violence. The level of gun violence is especially troubling. The problem extends far beyond the discussion of citizens arming themselves to protect their Second Amendment rights. Many of our citizens are armed better than our police officers and we are having this discussion of Second Amendment rights. Where is the threat?
The events in Newton, Conn., was exceedingly troubling. We cannot continue to allow this to happen, especially to our children. They depend upon adults and our government to protect them. We let them down. The people must demand action. Never again wait. Get involved now because local and federal governments will only proceed with action if we demand it.
Remember, political action groups, lobbyists, weapon manufacturers, weapons dealers, the National Rifle Association (NRA), and their supporters control our congress and local government. I am certain that government as well as these groups know that the current level of armament far exceeds that need by any law abiding citizen for self -protection.
Why then do we need to arm ourselves? We must examine the motives as well as the emotions involved. The motive of dealers, manufacturers, and the NRA is greed. We acknowledge that some acts of violence have been committed by psychological deranged individuals. However, even in those cases there were underlying emotional issues. These emotions are rabid in our society and we must address this issue. There has been an attempt it seems to avoid the mention of emotions. Sure there is fear and anger, but all too often the emotion involved is hate.
There is undue fear of immigrants and minorities which is being exploited.
There is a lack of discussion of the growing level of hate aimed at minorities, immigrants, religious groups, political groups, groups of different sexual orientation, poor, etc. We must recognize that this is a problem and stress emotional control and teach tolerance. The political discourse often elevates the emotions and makes intolerance worse.
It will be interesting to see how our political and religious leaders handle the gun violence problem. I would hope that they will examine their motivations and their emotions before making unwise decisions. Politicians as well as religious leaders seem not to recognize that their discourse reflects intolerance, in fact, reflects hate. This only makes our problems worse.
One politician suggested arming our teachers. Some have suggested arming students. This is not a solution to gun violence problems. Possibly it would turn a secure environment into a war zone. I am sure law enforcement and security officers would not want to have to sort out this when responding to a call.
We will need laws to control gun violence, but every individual can recognize the problem we have in our society with uncontrolled emotions and intolerance. We can work to bring about change. First we must be willing to listen to others, respect others, and seek understanding and tolerance.