Monday, May 2, 2016     Volume: 30, Issue: 40

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New Times / Letter To The Editor

The following article was posted on June 11th, 2014, in the New Times - Volume 28, Issue 46 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from New Times [] - Volume 28, Issue 46

I am not Yosemite Sam

By Ron Holt - Pismo Beach

In his commentary in the June 5 New Times, Mr. Mallon asks what will end the obsession with guns (“What will end the obsession?”). I feel his frustration because I wonder what will end a parallel obsession with gun control.

Perhaps it is denial of the fact that gun control hasn’t worked in this country when tried. Perhaps it is a naive faith in government to not misuse its power to suppress dissent. Perhaps it is a denial of lessons about the occasional brutality of nature (including human nature) that people without a thorough understanding of history and insignificant exposure to that brutality in their personal lives seem to generate. Perhaps it is the illusion that getting rid of guns in this society would be easier than the admittedly tough problem of addressing the underlying problem: people with sociopathic tendencies (temporary or permanent). Maybe it’s just an aversion to sudden, loud noises.

In any case, I am glad to be living in a country where the founding fathers enshrined protections for individual liberties, including the means to fight tyranny from within, in the Bill of Rights, which was necessary to get the agreement of enough states to form this nation. It may be a 230-year-old piece of paper to some, but it incorporates some wise principles that have made this country a symbol of individual freedom (albeit an humanly imperfect one).

Maybe if Mr. Mallon and his fellow travelers would open their minds to the possibility that there may be good reasons for many of us to oppose gun control in general (and stop blaming the tools for the actions), they might find enough support for using other means to reduce random violence to actually get something positive done. We are not all “Yosemite Sam” yahoos or brainwashed ultra-conservatives or even NRA members. Get over your generalizations and ego and we can talk.