Dear Mr. Obama,
I agree with your recent remarks — it’s terrifying to have all these shootings. I want it to stop as much as you or anyone. And I share your frustration in seeing nothing get done.
What I don’t understand is why you keep trying to do the same things and get blocked.
You know that those plans will meet with fierce resistance. Instead, try something that the community at large might accept, and finally move us ahead. Work both sides.
Stop harping about background checks, with the now tired litany about how it’s so reasonable, yet you can’t even get that.
Well, OK, you can’t. It’s time to accept that. But you don’t seem to know why. The gun owners out here know why.
The shootings would not have been stopped by background checks.
It’s the wrong answer to the problem.
It would have affected all of us — and so we resist — but it would not have “done something” about the psychotic murderers we want to stop. Let’s not get into what the proposed bills really proposed, that’s for another day.
So if you want to “do something” with huge grass-roots support and get it done, try promoting gun-safety training and marksmanship in schools. Watch what happens then.
Right now schools are a gaping cavern of ignorance on the subject of guns. Kids think guns are the fun blood bath they see in pop culture. Do something about that.
Work with the firearms community — not against it. We’re your constituency too. Teach gun safety and respect for arms — like 100 million decent gun owners have — instead of leaving the festering ignorance in place. The forbidden fruit of guns — a word students can’t even voice — can’t be helping.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have the support of 100 million gun owners, instead of banging heads with us all the time? Teachers, school administrators, their unions, students, most haven’t got a clue about the true role of guns in our lives and culture. Let us educate them. Let there be light.
Prominent doctors have suggested treating guns, which they too understand poorly, as germs and disease. Louis Brandeis framed it well: the best disinfectant is a little light.
Encourage gun-safety and marksmanship training for all Americans, to teach respect for this constitutionally protected property. You’ll garner the significant support you seek, and do something to move a culture that has grown inured, as you have so eloquently noted, to something it should not tolerate. Get something done.
It’s a good first step.
Alan Korwin, Author
Gun Laws of America