Shootings and gun control are community issues | Letter

Jun 13, 2014

Editor, The Beacon:

We have had several shootings in Seattle in the last few days, including the one at SPU that was on the front pages. And all the usual posters are having a field day on the Seattle Times website.

As far as I can see, very few, if any, are calling for a ban on guns, but quite a few are calling for better control of who gets guns, and keeping them out of the hands of lunatics.

These sensible thoughts are always drowned out by the folks who equate any control of guns with banning them, and there is the usual chorus of "guns don't kill people, people kill people," and "should we ban knives, too?" and "it's the fault of the mental health system," or "it's because the police weren't there."

We need to remember that the mental health system, like the police, is overburdened and underfunded.

Want better mental health? Fund it. Want better/more police? Fund them.

And that, folks, means being willing to take on the necessary tax burden inherent in being part of the community.

How do we get sensible discussion of this problem? How do we get people to come up with useful suggestions? How do we get Americans to remember that we are a community, and that community functions only when we all come to the table to work out mutually satisfactory solutions –– which folks, means some give and take.

Is it even possible in the U.S. today?


Nathaniel Brown




Comments (1)
Posted by: Nathaniel R Brown | Jun 17, 2014 16:43

The shootings roll on.  And since writing my letter to the editor, I've been involved a number of discussions, not many of them very pleasant.  Pro-gun people seem often to equate gun control with banning guns, and too often what I hear is "You liberals all want to grab our guns," or "all you liberals want is..."

In fact, while almost all my friends are liberals (and I'm about as liberal as it gets on most subjects.), not one of them is in favor of banning or seizing guns.  I come from a long line of shooters and my father was a gunsmith with some world records shot with barrels he made.  No - I don't want to ban guns.

But I want to see firearms under sensible control: education in firearm safety should be necessary to owning a firearm; waiting periods work; we should close loopholes that allow someone to buy a handgun at a gun show or similar; the laws we have should be enforced; storage should be safe; mental health and police services need support and revenue.  And so on.

You may agree or disagree with some of the above.  But please! Let's stop assuming that all liberals want this, or all conservative want that.  Let's stop name-calling and generalizing, put away that 5-inch wide paint brush, and come to the table to talk reasonably with neighbors, let's be prepared for some give and take and principled compromise with each other, always remembering that real people, with real fears, are on both sides.  Let's do some listening.

It's that community thing again.

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