To the Editor:
“How many deaths will it take till we know that too many people have died? The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind, the answer is blowin’ in the wind.”
When that song was sung by Peter, Paul and Mary in the 1960s-1970s, we were focused on the war in Viet Nam. Today it could just as well be sung about the mass murders that continue to happen in our own communities.
But I refuse to believe that the answer is blowin’ in the wind. The answer lies right before us!
When the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the farthest thing from their minds was the day when more people would die from gun violence in one year that were killed on 9/11. They wrote the 2nd Amendment when there were no police forces, and “a well-regulated militia” was needed instead. Today, this guarantee has been misused to justify the right to own firearms by anyone 18-years-old and up, regardless of the lethality of the gun or the soundness of the owner’s mind.
I am not reactionary. When I was growing up, my father was a member of the NRA. I remember watching in fascination as he melted lead and poured it into molds to make bullets for his 45-caliper handgun. He was a target shooter. He and my mother spent many summer vacations at Camp Perry where he competed with like-minded hobbyists.
Today, I can understand the sportsperson who hunts or the target shooter who keeps a handgun in the home for protection. What I cannot understand is the mind of the person who says it’s necessary to own a personal arsenal, including assault rifles which are made solely for the purpose of killing large numbers of people. And what I abhor is the influence of today’s NRA and the refusal of many of our politicians to say “enough is enough.” Assault weapons have no place in a civilized society!
So, if the answer is not blowin’ in the wind, and indeed it is within our reach, perhaps we have to hold our legislators’ feet to the fire and let them know we will not support them unless and until they disavow any connection to and support the NRA. We, the People, have that power.
Join the marches to be held on March 24 to insist on meaningful changes to our nation’s gun laws. Indeed, “too many people have died.”