2012-12-20 / Letters to the Editor

Contact state reps for stricter gun control

Dear friend, neighbor, business acquaintance, government representative and family: All of us have watched and read of the recent tragic events of the grade school shooting in Newtown, Conn. Not another mass killing we say? It’s time for all of us to do something.

We individually need to contact all of our representatives in government to take action to stop the madness of our assault weapon culture of violence. They have mollycoddled the National Rifle Association and the weapons lobby with little or no effort to protect our citizens. Some facts for consideration:

• Children ages 5 to 14 in the America are 13 times more likely to be murdered with guns as children in other industrialized countries.

• Firearms claim one life every 20 minutes.

• 30,000 Americans die from guns every year.

• More Americans die in gun homicides and suicides in six months than have died in the last 25 years in every terrorist attack and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.

• There have been few, if any, instances where an armed citizen with a gun has stopped a mass shooting.

• Australia banned certain rapidfi re, long-range guns after a mass killing in 1996 and there has not been one mass shooting in the 14 years since. The firearm murder rate has dropped by 40 percent.

For comparison, we have closely regulated autos with seat belts, air bags, child seats and crashsafety standards that have reduced auto fatalities by 90 percent since the 1950s. Our government does not safely regulate the firearms industry.

We all would hope to have the courage to try to protect the grade schoolers in harms way as the six adults tried to do in Newton. But do we have the courage to stand up to our elected officials and the assault weapon industrial complex and stop this madness?

Join me and let’s get off our lethargic butts and each do something.

John McCauley
Washington Street

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