Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Gun culture is a cancer on our country

To the editor:

Like millions of others, I too am speechless, dazed with heartbreak since the massacre at Sandy Hook. I attended several vigils since Friday; did you as well? We’re all heartbroken.

President Obama, a father, was clearly stricken with empathetic grief; his statements were beautiful and heartfelt. But will he lead on the “meaningful action” he called for? How many innocent lives have already been taken by gun violence? Who loves their assault weapons more than their own children?

If now isn’t the time to demand sane gun policy, then when? Or shall we wait until after the next massacre? Mass shootings, along with the less dramatic yet steady flow of single homicides, will continue until we ban easy access to these armaments.

The dead on Dec. 14, in Newtown, Conn., were victims of war.

When our American forefathers acted to ensure “a well-regulated militia,” they never could have imagined these mass shootings of innocents in the name of Second Amendment “freedoms.” It would have horrified, enraged and revolted them. How can we continue to tolerate the worship of guns over the lives of our friends, neighbors and children?

Teachers were brave enough to give their lives to try to protect other people’s children. Will politicians be brave enough to protect us from the National Rifle Association? The NRA and the gun culture are a cancer on law enforcement, and a cancer on the country. No civilian should have access to any automatic, high-speed, high-kill weaponry. If we do not act, keep your mourning clothes on; we’ll meet soon enough, at the next vigil.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein is bringing legislation to ban assault weapons on Day One of the new Congress. Let’s stand with her, and pressure others in Congress to work for sane gun regulation.

It’s no longer enough to cry, light candles, or pray. The greatest tragedy of all would be to avoid our responsibility to our communities. Words of comfort, from high or low, will be meaningless without unified action.

I’m in; are you?

Dinah Kudatsky

Amherst

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