To the Editor: Roy Lincoln Karp, in his Feb. 22 commentary, is absolutely right to assert that even if Douglas High students succeed in moving Congress to legislate gun restriction, “we would still need to address a culture of violence in a nation that currently has more guns than people.”
Karp’s laudable work, integrating socially challenged students into the broader high school community, serves as a model for minimizing the alienation and isolation that spawns delinquency and violence. His approach to the role of schools as part of the solution deserves full endorsement.
Achieving the goal, he says, “requires a paradigm shift in the way we think about young people, especially those who persistently test our commitment to them.”
Critical to solving gun violence, however, would be a “paradigm shift” in the way we think about guns. The commentary’s headline, “We don’t need an act of Congress to create safe and inclusive schools,” is at least debatable. We can certainly expect no effective legislation as long as the NRA and its ilk dictate national gun laws – at least not until society responds to the epiphany it sorely needs: the realization that American gun culture is demented; that the first ever anti-gun law, “Thou shalt not kill,” is a worthy commandment, although widely ignored thanks to the abundance of weapons.
As this commandment implies, any implement specifically designed to kill people is intrinsically evil and has no business in existence, except perhaps in a museum of curiosities.
Ultimately, we need laws that will eradicate guns and all weapons that kill people. Ultimately, we need to abolish that ridiculously archaic sacred cow, the historically racist Second Amendment, with its origins in the anxiety of Southern planters to repress slave revolts. Ultimately, we need legislation that will melt every gun into something that promotes life instead of death.
Which will, of course, never happen until the paradigm gloriously shifts. Let’s start shifting.
– John McColgan
Savin Hill Avenue