Letters: Cause no harm

Johnson City Press • Aug 11, 2019 at 6:00 AM

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Cause no harm

The very first lesson we are all taught as children is to cause no harm to others. As we grow, we learn that this includes direct and indirect harm. Parental admonishments like “don’t hit your brother,” become, “be kind to your brother,” as we learn that harm comes in many forms; that sticks can be words and stones can be bullets. Our guardians begin to teach us that being kind to others sometimes means putting their needs before our own.

Collectively, Americans have forgotten this foundational lesson. We have become a nation so consumed by our perceived individual needs that we cannot admit that the nation might need something else. We have forgotten that we must sometimes put others before ourselves.

The funny — or perhaps the sad — part is that we don’t actually need assault rifles. Second Amendment loyalists portray the ability to own an AR-15 or an AK-47 as “rights” because the Second Amendment does not specify what types of firearms are protected. These weapons of war are not possible to carry in a concealed manner, it’s not possible to safely store them in a convenient spot to access when someone breaks into your home, and they are not used for hunting because they have terrible aim. Their sole purpose is creating mass human carnage.

No one is proposing an end to the American right to protect oneself and one’s family. We simply propose that we make it more difficult for those who wish to cause terror to do so. “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” Yes, it’s true that an assault rifle needs someone to pull the trigger. But, wouldn’t it be nice if a mass murderer’s options weren’t so broad and easily obtained when it came to weapon selection? A knife will kill far fewer people in 30 seconds than an automatic rifle retrofitted with a 100-round drum.

Piney Flats

Lobbyists fight against gun safety

The NRA and gun violence, they go together, simply because the NRA is an arm of our gun makers, the promotional arm that claims to represent gun owners but mostly pay our politicians to vote to make sure there are no restriction on gun purchases or any controls period, although a few, mostly ineffective, have been enacted.

I was 15 when I received my first gun, a .410-gauge Mossberg shotgun, 65 years later, I still have it. I joined the NRA in the early 90s. Then it started, I was constantly bombarded with massive letters stoking fear in how some politicians were going to take my gun away, they promoted giveaways, just send us $200 and you could win this collection.

I let that happen for a few years, I realized all they wanted was my money. I ended my membership.

A politician, regardless of party, knows that a law in this country banning all guns would be political suicide. The politicians we now have in office are bought and paid for, recent polls show that around 90% support common sense gun controls, until we remove the NRA and the billionaire dollars, in the form of super PACs, from our elections we have no one to represent us the people, we might get a crumb tossed our way occasionally, but the well connected get the whole loaf. We can do better, just common sense gun laws will help.

Piney Flats

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