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Opinion: Republicans casting their lot with the gun lobbyists

Marybeth Swanson was in her early 30s, a wife and mother, and had started a new job at the town offices of South Newbury, N.H. We knew each other from the local ski area, the King Ridge Ski Area (now closed), in New London, N.H., where we both worked during the snow seasons. She was a part time ski instructor there.
Marybeth went down in a hail of semi-automatic fire at her new job one day in November of 1993. She was one of three women employees shot by a local man known for a hot temper, furious over a town zoning rule gone against him. Marybeth and another woman were killed; a third woman somehow survived with severe wounds, physically and emotionally maimed for life.
I also knew him. He was about my age then, in the 30s. Despite his known temper problem, he easily procured a semi-automatic from a gun store as his anger got away from him. It could have been me. I was a target 20 years before this, ducking rifle fire from a passing car outside of Boston, Mass. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Mr. Angelo Lynn wrote in his editorial “The travesty of GOP politics” (Addison Independent, Dec. 7) on how the GOP “voting against gun control measures because they don’t want to lose the monetary and political support of the NRA.” This is true. It is breathtaking in its callousness that one of our major political parties has come to value the clout of the gun lobby more than our lives.
I wonder how we Americans can boast about our so-called “American exceptionalism” when we the people are condemned to live with the possibilities of what happened to Marybeth or me. I was lucky; Marybeth was not. It could happen to anyone at any time, and the only thing that matters to the GOP in Washington are the dollars flowing into them from that special interest.
Walter Carpenter 
Montpelier

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