Letter: Alternatives to guns
It is time for us to face the issue of being a nation of citizens possessing 300 million guns. We’ve tinkered with regulation long enough. Discussions about guns that focus on fear, Second Amendment rights, protecting schools with guns, comparing guns to automobile dangers, background checks and blaming mentally ill people only divert us from considering what kind of nation we want to be.
Today, it seems, we seek to arm good people to outgun bad people. Our children learn that guns are the way to solve relationships with anyone we fear: the bad people. No wonder our young people sometimes turn to guns to solve their problems.
Congress, Mr. President, governors, councils, legislators, citizens: Consider the option of a gun-free society. Don’t let fearful people with guns silence discussion. Guns do not demonstrate strength. They hide weakness.
Consider some alternatives:
∎ We could protect our homes with a network of good neighbor communications.
∎ Fear an oppressive government? We could learn to participate in our democratic society. (No amount of home firepower can protect us today from a rogue government army in possession of assault weapons, rockets, tanks, drones and overwhelming air power).
∎ Target shooters could rent guns at a firing range.
∎ We could reevaluate hunting for sport.
∎ We could allow basic rifles for hunting food and for predatory animal control in rural settings.
Our safety does not depend on guns to overpower one another. Our safety depends on tools of education, compassion, empathy and understanding to empower each other to be good citizens and good neighbors.
Rev. JOHN D. BUTTRICK