Gun Appreciation Day in poor taste

Published Jan 24, 2013 at 11:58 am (Updated Jan 24, 2013 at 11:58 am)

“The height of insensitivity” is the phrase that comes to mind in consideration of the January 19 “Gun Appreciation Day” rallies held throughout the nation in direct response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School atrocity and ensuing drive to establish universal background checks for those who seek to acquire a firearm and to enact modest restrictions and regulation on the ownership of the most lethal weapons and ammunition.

The gun enthusiasts/Second Amendment absolutists tell us that this is a time of “the most grave” threat to gun ownership since the signing of the Bill of Rights, to which I respond, “I beg your pardon?” Who, pray tell, has proposed sending federal marshals door to door to confiscate three hundred million firearms or even enacting legislation which prohibits one from purchasing virtually any weapon?

How do proposals to institute a universal background check, close the gun show loophole, and ban weapons that are designed solely to mow down human beings in rapid fire infringe on anyone’s Second Amendment right to hunt and protect his or her home?

Those who demonstrated in support of gun rights on their day of coalescence are serving to say, “Drop dead” to the majority of Americans that seek reasonable, sensible, modest restrictions on ownership of the most lethal weapons and ammunition and measures that are designed to keep weapons out of the hands of felons and the mentally unstable.

I wonder how the gun toting protesters would be received in Newtown, Conn., if they appeared there to rub salt in the wounds of a grieving citizenry. Would there be any parent or other family member of a massacre victim that would endorse their efforts and stand by their side? I doubt it. I suspect the demonstrators would be run out of town.

President Obama was widely condemned and vilified when he stated within his 2008 campaign for president that white working class voters “cling to guns ...,” yet the accuracy of his statement has been demonstrated time and time again, particularly in recent days. Are the demonstrators not saying, “You bet we cling to our guns!”?

It is interesting to note that the animosity of gun enthusiasts is targeted at the president, one who has all but ignored the issue until the event that changed all of us, Newtown, Conn.’s day of infamy. Has it been forgotten that conservative Republican President Ronald Reagan, a victim of horrific gun violence, supported a ban on assault-style weapons? Is he being tarred by the gun forces as a good for nothing liberal/Communist as well?

A caller to a local radio talk show stated his concern for the president’s safety, given the hatred for him that has been manufactured over the gun issue. I am not a supporter of President Obama’s on most issues, particularly on fiscal matters, and I did not vote for him, but as a patriotic American that celebrates our democratic system of governance and the peaceful transition of power, I share this fear. He is our president, duly elected, the only one we have, and I want him to live. What he now proposes to do regarding guns is not something from another universe – it reflects the will of the majority of the American people.

Oren M. Spiegler

Upper. St. Clair

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