Letter: Common sense regarding guns | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Common sense regarding guns

In response to Sheriff Lou Vallario’s thoughts on gun control as shared on his Facebook page, and the front page of this paper, well, they seem pretty thoughtless to me.

Vallario uses the same nonsense answer that we have been hearing for years now: that guns, or easy access to them, are not the problem. It is time to change that line of reasoning as it is getting us nothing except more mass shootings, more school shootings, etc.

The Parkland, Florida, shooting is the 19th school shooting of the year, yes 19 school shootings in the first seven weeks of 2018. Sheriff Vallario argues that mental health issues, and not guns, are the real problem, and, well, yes, ultimately I think he is correct about that.

But to that I ask, “What the hell are you going to do about it Lou?!” Are you going to put counselors or psychologists in every gun store to assess the mental health of all potential gun buyers? I don’t think so.

When the not-so-sane leaders of some rogue nations (I am thinking North Korea, Iran…) attempt to obtain or develop weapons of mass destruction do we send mental health counselors over to try to convince them not to? No! We try to stop them from getting the weapon!

Ultimately, I think that more investment in mental health services is a great idea, but we need to stop the easy access to assault weapons immediately in order to curb the mass violence affecting our schools and other public places.

And, as far as politicizing the issue, let’s not forget that the NRA is one of the largest, if not the largest, contributors to political campaigns in this country. Seems to me like they are the ones politicizing it.

And, while things can seem pretty hopeless at times as far as trying to convince lawmakers to take action on this, I did find something to give me hope recently. The morning after the Parkland shooting, I happened to be at a local coffee shop, and all of the tables were full. One gentleman, a stranger to me, offered to share his table.

As I sat down, he could not help but mutter something to me in a somewhat exasperated tone to the effect that, “We need to somehow stop making it so easy to buy these guns.” I agreed, and to my surprise he proceeded to share with me that he was raised as an NRA member, owned multiple guns, and enjoyed going to the shooting range. I was fairly stunned as we both agreed wholeheartedly that easy access to assault weapons is not a good thing for our country. I appreciated his connectedness to his Second Amendment right, and his commonsense approach to the gun violence problem in this country.

I hope that our politicians, locally and nationally, can start to take a real commonsense look at this problem, rather than being puppets of the NRA.

Eric Baumheir,

Not a Hollywood elite nor a liberal politician

Carbondale


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