EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 16, 2013

Letter: Let’s set aside emotion in the gun debate

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — To the editor:

Yesterday was the day Vice President Joe Biden gave his gun control recommendations to Obama meaning we are not even close to ending this national discussion on guns that has been ravaging every media outlet for the last month.

I am not against rational, open-minded, logical discussions about protecting the freedoms of the gun owner while protecting the rights of American citizens who may potentially wish, which is duly their right, not to carry a firearm. I am tired of the discussion, which immediately following the Newtown massacre involved the emotional reaction to the murder of 20 young school children and seven adults. The emotional reaction is understandable, but not a basis for rational discussion.

Almost on cue, as America’s emotions stabilize and the process of forgetting begins, the gun lobby and their allies begin their campaign against gun control and present ideas that are potentially on the same emotional argument as the ones who imagine losing their own children in a massacre: gun owners fear losing their guns. For some of these people, the anger, hostility and hatred for those who even propose this option seem as they are as emotionally attached to their guns as America was emotionally connected to the loss at Newtown.

My letter is not to propose a solution, I have no idea what that solution is. I am neither pro-gun nor anti-gun; I see both sides to the issue. This said, I can no longer stand to watch one side cry that we are living in a gun-loving dystopia, one side fears if we ban guns we will enter a sort of gun-less dystopia. We live in a dystopia now, for many reasons, including the use of firearms. However, we have the means to rationally and logically identify some key problems with gun use in this nation, and prevent some shootings from occurring in the future.

Anyone who proposes either taking away all guns, nearly all guns, or keeping military-style weapons legal and unregulated for civilian use need to take a step back from the issue and imagine themselves in the shoes of the opposition. In my opinion, the idea of censoring media to reduce violence seen and heard by children is as un-American as repealing the Second Amendment itself.

It is imperative that we take this time to detach our emotions so we can speak with one another about this issue that is ever-growing and becoming more and more important with each passing year. Unfortunately, history shows that we will not detach our emotions; America will scream at its counterparts until they’re deaf and stand their ground until nothing gets done, and 20 more children die. This time it might be your child’s elementary school.

Brendan LeRoy