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Letters/My View

December 17, 2012

Letter: Time to face hard truths on guns

To the editor:

The Times’ editorial (”Evil of School Shooting Defies Understanding,” Monday, Dec. 17) employed a strange logic when it used Connecticut’s prohibition against guns in schools as proof that the state had strict gun laws and still could not prevent the Newtown tragedy.

The gunman did not take a gun to a school; he shot his way into the school with weapons that were legally owned under Connecticut law.

The Times also erred in taking to task the leaders who are calling for meaningful change in response to this tragedy.

Prayer vigils help us to cope in the short run with unspeakable evil. But political action spurred by the public is the only way to prevent a long future of prayer vigils for other victims. It is time to tell our lawmakers that we respect their courage in the face of a gun-ownership lobby that opposes even modest controls on lethal weapons.

And, finally, it is time to start telling the truth: The United States is engaged in a grim national lottery masquerading as Second Amendment protection. According to The Washington Post, there were 13 mass shootings in this country in 2012. Three occurred in schools, one in a hospital, one in a house of worship, one in a movie theater, and the rest in malls or other public places.

We all know that the number and kinds of weapons available in this country make this level of carnage inevitable. We just hope it happens to other people’s loved ones, not ours.

Some will stubbornly argue that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Let’s tell the truth about that, too: People kill people with guns, most often with guns that have no purpose other than to kill people.

We can be a safer nation. We are smart and determined enough to end this scourge. But to do so, we need to make lives more sacred than the right to possess handguns and assault rifles.

SHARRON COHEN

Washington Street, Gloucester

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