Friday, June 17, 2016

Enough is Enough

Here is my letter to all candidates for public office and elected officials...

Dear [fill in candidate's name]:

It's time to stop pretending that nothing is wrong. We have a very serious problem in this country and that is the preponderance of military-grade weaponry among the private citizenry. It's absurd to pretend that such lethal weapons in the hands of civilians does not endanger the public. The facts are the facts.

There is absolutely no rational argument that can be made for allowing private citizens to possess military-grade weapons. But the weapons manufacturers and their lobbying group, the NRA, have somehow managed to convince much of the public that this is not the case. This is an unfortunate situation but it is not insurmountable.

Admittedly the Second Amendment to the US Constitution is problematic, as are the many state constitutions which impede the regulation of private weapons ownership. But let's be realistic: the Bill of Rights (including the Second Amendment) was adopted in 1791 – a time when people were still using flintlock muskets. There is no way the authors of the Constitution could possibly have foreseen the ready availability and tremendous lethality of weapons available today. The laws of today must reflect the reality of today.

No person in their right mind could honestly argue that the laws of this nation should guarantee private citizens the right to possess any weapon of their choosing, or that the producers and traders of military-grade weapons should be allowed to carry on their trade without restriction. I'm sorry, but it's the truth. Any attempt to make such an argument is either disingenuous or badly misinformed.

The time to act is now. Congress must stand up to the NRA. The nation's leaders must begin to speak the truth about the proliferation of these weapons – even though this is not what many people want to hear. Yes, some people will be upset. Yes, people are going to have to live with the fact that they will not have the right to possess any weapon they desire. Unfortunately they are going to have to accept this. There is no other way. Any other approach is simply too dangerous.

We have a choice. We can either change the gun laws in the United States or we can watch the country be destroyed by the unchecked proliferation of weapons. There is no third option. The recent tragedy in Orlando has created an opportunity to change this situation. Now it is time to act.

I hereby pledge that I will never again vote for any candidate who does not publicly support a complete and total assault weapons ban. I would like to know if you are publicly committed to this goal. If not, I will be unable to vote for you. I'm sorry but I have no other choice or recourse at this time.

I wish you strength and cunning in the effort to amend the nation's gun laws.