To the Editor:
In its 16 June editorial, the Dorchester Reporter’s support for “lawmaking aimed at banning weapons of mass murder, tightening restrictions on sales to the mentally ill or potential terrorists, [and] studying gun violence as a public health issue,” does not go far enough. Banning assault weapons and trying to deprive terrorists and the mentally ill of gun licenses will not begin to stop the slaughter.
Tens of thousands of children, women, and men lose their lives every year as a direct consequence of private gun ownership. Only a fraction of these perish in high-profile mass shootings. (Nor do mass shooters need assault weapons: they can do it with just about any gun.)
The Reporter likens “another national sacred cow”, slavery, to the private ownership of assault weapons, but not, apparently, to the Second Amendment. Well, guess what? the Second Amendment was specifically inserted into the Bill of Rights for arming local militia for the suppression of slave revolts. It is debatable whether the Second Amendment has ever protected anybody but antebellum slave owners. The ongoing legacy of the Second Amendment is millions of American lives senselessly lost to bullets.
The Reporter is right: “There’s no future for a prohibition of guns in the United States” – not as long as society and its media think it “common sense” that “the right of citizens to bear arms can and should be preserved.” The insanity of this credo – why don’t we call it “gun-ism” – should be treated like any other sacred cow.
“Gun-ism” should take its place among racism, militarism, homophobia, bigotry, and other nutty human behavior as social evils worthy of extinction.
– John McColgan, Savin Hill Avenue