Letter: Citizens must act on guns
Richard Teague’s July 3 guest opinion and his dismissal of the havoc that has sporadically occurred because of the unchecked proliferation of assault weapons seems a selfish reasoning. A secure life in Carbondale has little to do with AR-15s, and though Mr. Teague may have an AR-15 in his gun collection, I think his neighbors would react with horror if he walked down the street with one. Mr. Teague has chosen to live Carbondale, which is full of “whimpering liberals,” as he describes them. Wouldn’t he be more comfortable among the gun-selling strip malls of, say, Arizona,where people “understand” guns?
His argument ignores the fact that guns are weapons of death like no other allowed for private ownership. Defense of a free state is a ”well-regulated militia,” not nonregulated individuals all with their own ideas about what is necessary and proper. As has been said, does defense of a free state allow the private ownership of missiles and tanks?
I believe the residents of poor, gang-ridden neighborhoods have a different and more realistic perspective of whether assault weapons should be regulated. These would not be progressives who fear something “they don’t understand,” but mothers and fathers who very much understand the results of the culture of violence and unrestricted gun ownership.
Bullet-shredded bodies in schools and nightclubs have served to convince me that we, in our collective inability to have our wishes acted on by our legislators, are the problem. It is a control issue. A CBS News/New York times poll found that 92 percent of Americans — including 87 percent of Republicans — favor background checks for all guns.
In a democracy we could vote on it. In a republic, our legislators should vote on it and represent their constituents. We have had neither. Mr. Teague thinks the issue is control of the citizens; I think it is control by the citizens.
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