Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Guns & our culture are a risky blend

When I was twelve, my father gave me a shotgun to shoot at quail. I was told they were sporting and a good source of food. They were also small and quick, and therefore, rarely in danger. At nineteen, the Army loaned me an M-16, designed to kill people.

Combine an emotionally sick country with more guns than ketchup and the results should be obvious. It’s risky going outdoors and risky at home. The weapon that secures your space is more likely to kill someone you know or end up in a school. (Source: Stamford University, ‘22).  

We’re predisposed to violence. It’s in a toothpaste ad and programming for kids. Violence competes for attention and settles an argument. It’s inspirational and confers magical power, creating a big person out of a smaller one.

Meanwhile, the gun lobby fails a basic sanity test, and a mass shooting in the Capitol won’t change the dynamics. Survivors will stand up and say, “We pray for the dead.” 

Eventually, babies will be born with an adaptive mutation, the enhanced fear-of-violence gene. In 1787 a 2nd-Amendment Militia went out with a flintlock in search of a quail. Over two hundred years later, sportsmen can carry a thermal night-scope AK-47 killing machine, eliminating the need for a professional Army. 

Security is not what it used to be. “And so it goes…” 

A. Lyall

U.S. Army (Retired)

Middlebury 

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