Aug. 7, 2019
TO THE EDITOR:
In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it is perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom, and compassion for one another, and a feeling of justice towards those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or they be black.”
Excerpt from remarks by Robert F. Kennedy on the death of Martin Luther King Jr.
If Sen. Kennedy was alive today and given the recent gun violence and mass shootings of innocent people in Gilroy, Calif., El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, he might have amended his comments regarding Dr. King to include Latinos, Asians, Christians, Muslims, Jews, gay and straight people and immigrants. It is time to make a real effort to address the problems of domestic terrorism and gun violence that are the root cause of what Kennedy called more than 50 years ago, “This stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land.” Our collective pain over this continuing American tragedy is palpable. My own children and grandchildren live within 30 minutes of Gilroy.
Addressing this issue will be incredibly hard, but we must act. As a retired Marine, I support the rights of responsible citizens who hunt and keep weapons for self-defense. A significant part of my 23-year Marine career involved running ranges and training Marines in the safe and responsible use of firearms —everything from small arms to machine guns. But with all that, how do we justify current laws which allowed the Dayton shooter access and ownership of firepower capable of murdering nine people in less than half a minute? Answer: We can’t.
We must set aside the BS for once. It will take a coalition of responsible gun owners and sportsmen, principled legislators with moral courage and sensible concerned citizens — patriots all, working together to end this deadly situation. If we do nothing — nothing will happen —except the continued slaughter of innocent people.