Time to Act

Feb 21, 2018

To the Editor:

When do the values of those who too rigidly defend the Second Amendment’s “right to bear arms” outweigh the rights of children in schools, or innocent people on the street or in theaters/concerts, to be safe from deranged killers wielding automatic weapons? The answer is never.

I’m writing this editorial one day after the school shooting at Parkland High School in Florida, and I’m writing it because I’m very angry. It becomes tiresome to be told by our president and congressmen how their “hearts and prayers go out to the victims and families whose lives have been taken.” Don’t keep telling the American people that “now’s the time to mourn, and not the time to be discussing reasonable gun control legislation.”

That, and the rigid unyielding position taken by NRA leadership regarding gun control, are what makes me crazy.

It also makes me angry when our leaders, including the Parkland Florida police chief in this latest tragedy, place the blame on an inadequate mental health system. Making a judgment on who’s a real “whack job” and who’s just a borderline weirdo isn’t always clear. Let’s not kid ourselves, the NRA isn’t likely to agree on requiring a full psychological workup on those desiring to purchase an automatic weapon in order to weed out the “real nut jobs.’”

The sad fact is that my anger of today, like many of my fellow Americans’, will start to quickly fade away until the next episode of senseless killings with automatic weapons.

I won’t, in this editorial opinion, try to outline what I personally see as specific opportunities for gun enthusiasts and the NRA to work with Congress in a spirit of reasonable compromise on more strict controls. However, for our kids and grandkids’ sake, we need to make it very clear to the president and all of our politicians that it’s time to act, not just mourn.

Jim Eller

Long Beach Township


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