Once again, Larry Hodgden expresses his views here. This was a letter to the editor before Christmas. It expresses feelings I think many felt over the Holiday. Thanks, Larry.
As you read this 20 families in Connecticut will be burying a child brutally killed by a mentally ill person who had access to an assault weapon, a weapon designed specifically to murder people. In 1993 a Democratic Congress passed an Assault Weapons Ban and it was signed by Bill Clinton. The NRA then created an atmosphere of fear, even though no one has ever advocated restricting legal ownership of guns for hunting or personal protection. This atmosphere of fear helped result in the defeat of many Democrats in 1994 and paved the way for the Republicans to gain control of Congress. Then in 2004 a Republican Congress and George Bush allowed the Assault Weapons Ban to expire.
I know people who hunt, even allowing some to hunt on my land, and none of them use an assault weapon to hunt. I know people who have a handgun permit and keep a gun in their home for personal protection. These guns, properly used and safely stored, are not the problem nor are they under threat of regulation.
There are 280 million guns in this country with 47% of Americans owning at least one so simply banning the sale of assault weapons will not solve this problem. But just because, as usual, we are too late to do the right thing for the children of Sandy Hook doesn’t mean we should never do the right thing.
In addition to addressing our gun laws we must also look at mental health issues because no one in their right mind slaughters innocent children or any of the other innocent lives taken this year. Our country has a problem with a culture of gun violence as evident in violent video games aimed at the young, in our movies glorifying mayhem and destruction as well as in much of what passes as music these days. As parents and citizens by purchasing and condoning this violence we have produced a growing number of young adults who turn to what they have learned to deal with their mental problems.
If you care to object to my position on this remember, I, along with nearly 5,000 fellow Cedar County citizens who voted for Barack Obama, have been called illiterate and fools in a recent letter so please try to be a little more creative in your defense of the status quo.
For those of you who turned off the news coverage because it was too painful or uncomfortable and missed the pictures and names of the 20 children who will not be enjoying Christmas with their families in a few days, your pain is nothing compared to that of the families of the slain innocent children.