Country Needs New, Varied Guns Laws

To The Reader’s Forum:

Rich Lowry’s column in the 3/30 Post-Journal reveals the “real” problem with America’s political reaction to gun violence prompted by the Parkland, Florida school shooting — not enough people care about the victims. Compare the response to natural disasters — people pitching in to help, millions/billions of dollars raised and appropriated, and new ways developed to prevent or mitigate them in the future – to that of an ongoing, man-made disaster of gun violence – thoughts and prayers, banning the CDC from treating it as a health emergency, shielding gun manufacturers from liability of harm caused by their “products”, inconsistent and minimal attempts to curb violence that is met with lawsuits filed by the NRA, and virtually no money raised or appropriated to fund those attempts. Yet, there are many, many more deaths and injuries due to gun violence. Why the difference?

Lowry acknowledges why the Parkland FL students are “impassioned” in their calls for gun control, but then calls their actions of pointing out the financial connection of politicians to the NRA “scurrilous smears”. Lowry, however, does not dispute the fact of just how much money the NRA, which may not have raised a single penny to curb gun violence, gives to politicians who support its gun-promoting policies. (By the NRA, I mean its leadership mostly.) The fact that many students believe inaction to curb gun violence is somewhat intentionally killing them is not an unreasonably emotional response. National inaction that is representative of past “civil” debate, which students believe gives legitimacy to death, is an insufficient response. Note that the Florida legislature passed SOME legislation BECAUSE OF the emotional outcry.

Lowry is also wrong about “Supreme Court jurisprudence” on the matter of the 2nd Amendment. Lowry ignores the fact that NO leader in the student movement is calling for gun confiscation, and the fact that the Supreme Court consistently held that “reasonable” gun regulation, including some bans, is the right of the state. Lowry also wants you to believe the students’ response is “juvenile”, even though supported by millions of adults. What IS juvenile has been the character assassination of students by several right-wing pundits and politicians. Many students have experienced gun violence first hand, which actually bestows on them a level of practical “wisdom” and “maturity” to support their beliefs.

The motto “ENOUGH” should tell us that we need to develop new and varied gun laws to save people’s lives — now!

Paul L. Demler



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