32 Deaths and Silence

I was watching televison this morning and they were showing an interview with the man who sold Seung-Hui Cho one of his pistols. He seemed genuinely regretful that the gun had been bought from his store. But he had followed the required procedures, he said, and checked to be sure he had the forms required. The forms were there, however, and the buyer had seemed like an ordinary student, so “there was nothing more I could do.”

Nothing more? There are other ways to make a living than selling hand guns. If you found out that your usual line of work had led to mass murder, would you go back to business as usual?

Why the deafening silence from our legislators and presidential candidates? I checked the web sites of the top four presidential candidates of both parties and only one even listed gun control as an issue. That one, Senator Brownback, tells us that the Second Amendment is “at the heart of the bill of rights” and that it “guarantees an individual the right to keep and bear arms” because it “is essential . . . to the security of a free state.” “Restrictive gun controls,” he tells us, “. . . are not the answer. Instead, it is important for the government to enforce criminal gun laws already on the books, for communities to stand against gun violence, and for parents to teach children about gun safety.”

Do you feel more secure in a land where anyone can buy a hand gun? Is there no disconnect between “security” and mass murder? If the parents of the Virginia Tech students had taught their children about gun control, would they not have died?

Nearly 3,000 people died in the Twin Towers. How many millions have been spent as a result in screening machines and other measures to prevent another such tragedy?

30,000 are killed by guns in this country every year and is there nothing we can do?

We have a similar number of traffic fatalities every year and you can’t operate a car without passing an examination and getting a license.

But you don’t need an exam or a license to own a gun in Virginia or many other states. Why not?

Isn’t it time to hear from our leaders?

What have you done about it?

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