Letter to the editor: gun violence


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In response to the opinion titled “Orlando shooting raises questions about gun violence”:

This opinion focused on firearms rather than on the reality of the attacker.

It contained a straw man argument against firearms in pointing out that very few firearms are actually used for personal defense. 

This conveniently ignored the actual purpose of the 2nd Amendment, which, in addition to personal defense, is to allow broader communal defense against aggressive enemies, both foreign and governmental. 

The Founders saw firsthand how despots seized power, and history has shown that dictators (such as Hitler) wisely chose first to take away the people’s ability to defend themselves before beginning their tyrannical rule.

Yes, we have societal problems in which firearms end up playing a part. 

But we need to address root causes and not assume sweeping firearm restrictions will somehow fix everything. 

Reducing citizens’ ability to defend themselves is far too great a cost in a time of peace, let alone in our current global political instability.

Firearms played no part in some of the worst terror attacks in recent times; 9/11, the Brussels bombings, and Metrojet Flight 9268 come to mind. 

The one thing these attacks do have in common is a radicalized belief system that manifests itself through violence. 

Not covering this aspect of the Orlando attack and instead focusing on a political scapegoat (firearms) is unfair; it trivializes the tragedy that so many have endured, and detracts from a useful response to the threat. 

Perhaps it is easier to choose a faceless rhetorical enemy than respond to the dark reality of terrorism?