Letter: Gun ownership should be a privilege


Our own country is now getting sicker every year. Is it a mental problem or perhaps more accurately, a deepening social one? Even if we can’t understand the extent of this illness, the rest of the world certainly does. We keep killing each other with guns. Every day. Senselessly, often randomly, always horrifically, we kill each other.

The diagnosis is clear: There are too many guns in this country. More guns than people. 400 million guns. 332 million people. We are unique among all countries with our obsessive need to possess guns. As awful as mass killings such as just occurred in Uvalde, Texas are, more than half of our gun-related deaths are suicides. Suicides don’t normally make the news. Not even in little local newspapers like this one. It’s more likely than not, however, that you know of someone who ended their life with a gun.

We make gun death easy. There were 1.5 million gun deaths in the U.S. from 1968 to 2017. More than in all the conflicts we have fought since the War of Independence of 1775. Are we okay with continual gun carnage? That really is sick. And please, please don’t bring up the same nonsense about the Second Amendment to the Constitution. We are tired of hearing it. We don’t need to raise a militia. We have the best armed forces in the world. The country is quite capable of defending itself, unlike in 1775 when the need to raise an armed militia was legitimate. That was the context and rationale for the Second Amendment. Read it. Stop using it as a pretext for gun ownership.

Here’s what needs to be done now, not later: Make gun ownership an earned privilege. It is not a right. License a gun for hunting and make it expensive. Require thorough background checks. Require training. Limit how fast and how many rounds any gun can fire.

Hold the NRA and gun manufacturers responsible for the carnage in this country. Make them pay for the damage they have caused. Stop tolerating their political lackeys and remove them from office. Pull the federal broadcast licenses of Fox News and all peddlers of lies, fear, bigotry and hate. Label Rupert Murdoch, the Fox board of directors and their cult TV personalities as terrorists. They are the facilitators, if not the source, of the poison that has made our country so homicidal. They should be held accountable for the evil they infuse into our society.

Robert Jobe,