To the editor:
Yet again we must mourn the loss of innocent lives because of a massively armed criminal. And again, our elected officials and media outlets lament the horror of the moment by spewing the same lamentations and sound bites about school security or hotel security or mall security.
We hear time and again about the after-the-fact investigations into the background of the assassins. We are forced to bear witness to the description of the military weapons that were used; and to the terrible tally of the bullets that were fired during each slaughter.
But few in the public eye have the integrity to stand up and put the blame where it belongs — not with the schools where children go for their education. Not with hotels, concert venues or malls where the public goes for relaxation or diversion. But with the absurd and indefensible acceptance of automatic weaponry as some sort of perverted “right” that is available only to Americans, and hence available to the wicked criminals we breed, as well.
Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut recently stood alone to laudably demonstrate his honor, morality and decency by standing up to speak to his colleagues in the Senate and remind them that atrocities like mindless school shootings or an indiscriminate slaughter at a concert are crimes seen only in these United States of America. He rightfully characterized our culture as being in the midst of an “epidemic of mass slaughter.”
He boldly reminded his colleagues, our leaders in Washington, D.C., that they “are responsible for the level of mass atrocity that happens (only) in this country.”
Our lawmakers indeed are the only ones who can stop the ceaseless carnage we have witnessed for too many years by outlawing all automatic weapons. Period.
They need to be banned, and the production and sale of them for use by the civilian population must cease.
We as a people are entirely too willing to place blame on right-wing lobbyists or wrongfully interpret our Second Amendment to explain away the proliferation of these heinous crimes.
The blame sits squarely with our lawmakers who continue to abet deranged criminals by permitting virtually anyone to obtain (in too many states) and use the weapons of war against our civilian population and our law enforcement agents.
Politicians need to stand up in unison in the U.S. Congress and in state legislatures to decry and prohibit the availability of weapons like the AR-15 and AK-47 (terms that should be understood by only the qualified few, but have become all too commonly recognized in our vernacular), and remove them from the public marketplace.
Only then can we rest with the peace of mind that we and our families are safe to pursue life wherever we choose to go in this land of the free.