Dialogue Over Gun Violence Must Continue

To the Readers’ Forum:

As one who believes that we must take action to limit gun violence while still preserving Second Amendment rights to allow good and decent people to possess firearms, the recent action of the senators who voted ”No” on a modified plan for gun safety greatly concerns me.

Whatever the reasons that 46 senators voted ”No,” one consideration was the fierce opposition by the leadership of the NRA who promised political retribution against the supporters of the plan. Vocal citizens from pro gun states also expressed their displeasure to their senators and doomed the proposed legislation; even after a recent survey indicated that 86 to 90 percent of the American people supported an extended background check.

It is a difficult and challenging issue. It is my belief that citizens of the United States must continue a national dialogue on violence. How can we limit the ability of felons, criminals and the mentally ill to possess guns? What is appropriate to do for additional school safety? What is the role of violent movies and video games in violence? What is the responsibility of those in the media who spew soundbites which agitate but do nothing to solve the issue?

Why do so many people not trust their government? A statement was made at a recent town meeting sponsored by our congressman that the speaker wanted guns to protect himself from the federal government. You also often hear the same comment made in our local media. (All government officials should be very careful and wise about their actions and do everything possible to gain the trust of all people).

When an average of 80+ people are killed daily by firearms, isn’t it time that all of us, citizens who have firearms, citizens who don’t have firearms, religious groups, community organizations, law officials, governmental officials and every citizen in the United States work together to try to solve the issus of gun violence? Every citizen should make his/her feelings known to their government officials. There are too many tragedies happening in the U.S. We must take action!

Roger Gilbert