Letter: From gunmaker’s town, a plea for action
I live in Newport where Ruger firearms are made. The Newtown, Conn., massacre has finally wakened the country to having a serious conversation about gun violence, and this town needs to be part of that dialogue.
The popular chant “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” doesn’t sell anymore. People are killing people with guns at an alarming rate. Good people do not oppose guns – we oppose gun violence. Most Americans simply want fewer people to abuse firearms.
When auto fatalities mounted, seat belts were created. No one said “cars don’t kill people, people kill people.” When it was determined that lead in paint caused developmental brain damage, we removed the lead. Product safety is a part of consumer society. So why such vehement arguments against thorough background checks and limits on assault weapons? Do we care less about the victims of crime than of accidents?
As a town that has manufactured firearms for 50 years we can’t sit this out. We need to be part of the solution.
No one wants the factory to close, and neither do we want to be branded for the product that is produced here. We have an obligation to be responsible partners with the citizens who buy them and the country at large which too often finds itself on the wrong end of them.
As a first step, I propose our town leaders and Sturm, Ruger officials get out front on this issue and make a joint declaration to promote seeking effective solutions to reducing gun violence in America.