Hot Topic: Trading shots over the anti-gun violence rally
"Chez" Perez (2nd from left), of Nashua, yells during Rev. Stephen R. Silver's (right) speech during a gun control rally sponsored by Mayors Against Illegal Guns in Concord on Tuesday, June 18, 2013. (TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »
The Monitor has received a lot of mail regarding the Mayors Against Illegal Guns rally and pro-gun rights counter-
rally at the State House on Tuesday. Here’s a sampling of local opinion.
I have never before witnessed adult behavior as despicable as that of the guns-at-all-costs shouters who disrupted the gun regulation rally in Concord on Tuesday. They shouted hate and nastiness as pastors offered prayers for the families of those killed with guns. They met pleas for respect with curses, personal attacks and schoolyard taunts. They tried to shout down a man who had lost his daughter to gun violence.
The only thing the shouters succeeded in demonstrating was just how far out on the fringe Sen. Kelly Ayotte went when she voted against common sense gun control. Using shouts of “Ayotte, Ayotte” to trample on the First Amendment rights of others, the hecklers showed us exactly who the senator sided with in casting her vote. She sided with fear, lies and complete disregard for the thousands who have lost a loved one to gun violence. She caved to a tiny minority – loud in their views but not representative of our state or country.
Bullies must not prevent us from finding a way to protect our children and our society from gun violence. I call on Sen. Ayotte to show us that she has more to offer than the shouters, that she can do more than scream “no,” that she can reconsider her position and help pass common sense gun regulation. And if she does not, I ask my fellow New Hampshire voters to show up as the quieter majority in 2016 and elect someone who will.
to play bully victim
So-called peaceful protesters that do not allow an opposing point of view, funded by out-of-stater Nanny Bloomberg and claim/feign they are bullied so they can manufacture a consensus against their own neighbors. This is the Delphi technique. Play victim and attempt to force people who have legitimate opposing views to look like bullies. They are using people as tools. And obviously they are having success here in New Hampshire. Did you see them offer the microphone to hear another point of view? Pretty one-sided and obviously meant to invite trouble. It’s all by design and paid for by the Left.
Where are the independents from New Hampshire? These “no more names” folks act like they are the only ones affected by tragedy. It pains us all deeply when children lose their lives in an attack by a madman, however, common sense does not allow for the use of dead children as props to advance an agenda to infringe upon the constitutional rights of our fellow citizens.
Dual gun rallies?
When New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, charters a bus emblazoned with the phrase “No More Names” on it and sends it on a 100-day, 25-state tour, how can this be called a “gun rally?” The front page headline in your June 19 edition should have read, “Man subdued, arrested at anti-gun rally.”
I’m a gun owner but am not against background checks, closing the gun show loophole and increased mental health screening for potential gun owners. What I am against is false advertising and yellow journalism.
On a related note, did you know that one of the 6,166 names that are read aloud on the “No More Names” tour is none other than Tamerlan Tsarnaev? Yes, that Tamerlan Tsarnaev! If his name is on the list, doesn’t that call into question the validity of the list itself? How many drug dealers, pimps, murderers and other criminals are on the list? And isn’t their appearance on the list a slap in the face to the real victims of gun violence like the Sandy Hook families?
Anti-gun ad speaking
to the wrong audience
Have you seen New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s recent anti-gun ad? It features a guy in a gold braid- and medal-covered uniform who looks like a general in some dictator’s army.
The guy telling New Hampshire what to do about guns is a Minnesota police chief. Minnesota has nearly twice as many murders and about 50 percent more violent crimes per 100,000 residents than New Hampshire. In 2009 and 2010 New Hampshire had the lowest murder rate of all 50 states and was tied for second in 2011. We’d all like a safer New Hampshire, but advice from more violent states should be considered skeptically.
Bloomberg is rich. He thinks he is so indispensable that New York’s two term limit shouldn’t apply to him and that he should bless everyone with his expertise about guns. New York City’s murder rate is 6.6 times the New Hampshire murder rate. Its people suffer from other violent crimes at about 3.5 times the New Hampshire rate.
Why should New Hampshire take advice from the mayor of such a violent city? That would be like an Olympic champion totally changing his technique based on suggestions from a competitor at the back of the pack.
Perhaps part of New York’s high crime problem is because its mayor spends so much time sticking his nose into everyone else’s business. Frankly, if Bloomberg looks at New Hampshire, it should be to copy us.
Bullies in action
The pictures of the disruption of the peaceful demonstration about gun safety took me back to my teaching days. Suddenly, I was looking out across the playground and seeing the bullies in action.
It does not matter what the words were that were said or the opinions that were had, the bottom line is that the two photos show bullies in action. These are people who do not recognize the Constitution of the United States.
They do not honor anyone’s personal space, and they use bully tactics such as shouting, crowding and poking at people to demonstrate power.
Now, I do not believe that everyone who disagrees with me is a bully, and I don’t believe every gun owner is a bully. But I can tell you that those two men pictured on the front page of the paper are bullies, and they probably have been since childhood. There is no excuse for bullying in school, and there is no excuse for it here.
As to the gun safety discussion, I believe the bullies proved to us that the rights of the Constitution mean absolutely nothing to them, so any reference to the Second Amendment becomes moot.
By being bullies, they changed the conversation from an important and needed discourse to being about them and their behavior.
To those who spoke and read names, I apologize for the behavior of the bullies. To the bullies, I say what I said as a teacher, you need to review the Constitution and get your act together so you can communicate without using your bodies and your mouths as a weapon against others.
Only part of a story
It seems we get only part of a story from the pro gun-control people. The gentleman speaking when Mr. Musso, who was arrested, approached him speaks of the “gun violence” that killed his daughter and injured him.
Now for the rest of the story: His son-in-law illegally had registered guns which had been bought through gun checks. Next, the court ordered the police to take his guns, but it wasn’t done.
Then the gentleman and his daughter were told not to go to get stuff from her apartment or to confront her husband after a restraining order, but they did anyway without a policeman.
So can anyone explain what a gun check would have done to fix the problem?
Certainly if they hadn’t gone to the apartment the daughter would still be alive, but it seems people keep blaming the gun instead of the mentally ill, who get their hands on guns even with gun checks.
HARRIET E. CADY
A little dialogue helps
to bridge the gap
I was at the vigil in Concord for those who have died from gun violence since the Newtown shootings. Tensions had been high throughout the evening to the point that someone was Tased and arrested.
While there, a man referred to me as a “little gay boy” as I was defending those who were reading the names of victims. I was fed up with the hecklers who seemed so ignorant to me, and after the vigil I confronted the man who had brazenly assumed my sexuality. To my surprise he was extremely apologetic and confessed that he had been caught in the moment.
For the next 20 minutes I talked with him and three of his friends who are all staunchly opposed to gun regulation.
While we had practically been at each other’s throats earlier, the five of us had an intelligent, emotional conversation where we shared our personal stories.
Many men and women left the vigil sneering at those with whom they disagreed. The five of us went our separate ways with smiles and strong handshakes because we were able to put aside our stubbornness and pride to have a constructive conversation.
This kind of dialogue is too often lost today. As citizens of a democracy, it’s inevitable that we will disagree, but let’s try to not look down on conflicting opinions and instead listen to why people feel the way they do.
It is this understanding that we are missing in our society today and we all must open our minds and hearts to those around us to bring this compassion back.
Gilmanton Iron Works
Regarding the kerfuffle at the State House Plaza between gun control advocates and gun rights advocates, maybe the City Fathers should reconsider the fountain on the plaza. One flip of the switch to “on” could save the Concord Police a lot of headaches.