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December 19, 2012

Letter: Now is time to speak out on gun issues

To the editor:

Your editorial of Monday, Dec. 17, regarding the Connecticut school shooting raises several points.

Of course, there are calls for more “restrictive” gun laws following such an event, but your assertion that these include “even calls for banning possessions of guns altogether” is nonsense. No serious politician has made such a proposal, but your repetition of this idea reinforces the paranoia in some quarters that that is what will happen if we even consider implementing some reasonable safeguards. The institution of drivers licensing and testing hasn’t resulted in the elimination of privately owned automobiles.

You also repeat the idea that an event such as this proves that gun regulations are useless.

No reasonable person imagines that more laws are “a guarantee of safety”, and that we can prevent all those “determined to do evil” from doing so. So do you really believe, therefore, that we should have no laws unless they are 100 percent effective in eliminating the crimes they address? There is no way to know what other tragedies might have occurred if Connecticut did not have “already quite restrictive gun laws.”

Finally, I find your assertion that political leaders “use the deaths of innocent children to their political advantage” unfairly cynical.

We elect our officials to be leaders who act to protect our rights and our safety.

What better time to speak out and address this issue? Given the huge lobbying power of the NRA, sadly, the safest stand for most politicians is to say nothing.

PETER T. KOCH-WESER

Page Street, Gloucester

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