Recent letters by Sandra Shimon and John Barrett illustrate the main obstacle to decreasing gun violence in the U.S. The no-gun crowd (Gun No!ers) won't admit that what they really want is to ban guns and the use of guns by citizens for self-defense.
Some people do not like guns and/or will neither use guns to defend themselves against attack nor kill or injure an attacker if necessary. Everyone shouldn't own a gun.
Some of these same individuals do not want anyone else to own a gun or use it for self-defense. Everyone has an opinion.
Furthermore, some people don't really believe a criminal with a gun will actually shoot the victim of their crime! Teenagers with guns are not just kids having a little fun.
The no-gun crowd pays lip service to keeping guns away from criminals, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill (DMI) while working almost exclusively to block gun usage and ownership by law-abiding citizens.
Banning non-violent citizens, legally carrying concealed, from buildings by hanging signs, while making no provision for keeping out violent criminals and DMI, may make some people feel good but it certainly won't prevent a shooting.
Opposing stop-and-frisk of known criminals, domestic abusers and DMI ("they have rights") while increasing checks and paperwork for legal gun transfers between law-abiding citizens ("universal background checks, no exceptions") is equally ineffective.
A DMI commits a mass killing occasionally and the call goes out to ban gun ownership by legal citizens. Daily shootings and murders in urban communities and the call doesn't ever go out. Why do you think these shootings occur daily?
Individuals failing background checks are neither checked out nor prosecuted. Criminals caught with guns are given reduced sentences after plea bargains to help the justice system work smoothly.
But woe to a law-abiding citizen who runs afoul of a local gun law by making an innocent mistake, which harms no one. The full force of the law comes down on him or her!
I hope the Gun No!ers do the right thing and admit that their real goal is to ban guns. Stop holding progress toward decreasing gun violence hostage to completely banning guns in the U.S!
Only when we all admit what we really want can we work together toward decreasing gun violence.
If you want to decrease gun violence, vote "No" on the feel-good referendum in November.
Let the Gun No!ers know that you do not want to merely feel good about yourself; you want proposals that really will decrease gun violence!
Remember to vote on the referendum, Nov. 4.