Certain people must be kept from guns

“Are they with the angels?” As reported by the Associated Press and printed in the Herald, a question from a six-year-old child that was lucky enough to go to another school in Newtown. That child and her mother were attending the funeral of a child that had been killed in the Newtown massacre. It’s time now. It is past time, to have a frank public discussion of the gun culture in America.

I can no longer listen to the voices calling for more guns because, after all, it is guns that kill, not people. I must ignore those that say we should have armed the teachers; that solves nothing. We must turn our back on the NRA who has become the voice of the gun industry not gun owners. In the last 30 years we have had 61 mass shootings, that’s about two per year. Is that the world we want to live in? I cannot take my family to a National Park and have a peaceful picnic without fear that someone could have a gun.

As it stands at the moment, Osama Bin Laden’s successors could buy all the guns they want in America. Does that make sense? No law can insure our safety 100 percent but we can do a whole lot better than we’re doing. My right to live a quiet, peaceful life trumps your Second Amendment rights by a mile. Nobody is talking about taking away hunting rights or guns for target shooting. Though I’m a fisherman I understand the joy of experiencing the outdoors, the thrill of deer hunting. But you don’t need an AK47 to bring down a deer. The conversation we need to have is not about taking guns away from people; it’s about keeping certain people away from guns. There are a number of good proposals out there that do both, they restrict certain types of firearms and prevent unstable people from owning guns. We need to do something; we’re cutting down our own children.

Steven E. Bates