Letters to the Editor

Violence caused by a murderer, not by the NRA | Letter to the Editor

I was very dismayed by the recent opinion piece published by the Beachcomber editor (“It’s time to confront a gun lobby that’s out of control,” Dec. 19) suggesting that somehow the NRA was responsible for the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. To my amazement, nowhere in the editorial was the name of the murderer even mentioned.

The blame for the Newtown massacre lies with the perpetrator, Adam Lanza, not anyone else. Individuals are responsible for their actions. There is no logic in blaming inanimate objects, advocacy groups, manufacturers or other innocents for irresponsible and evil acts perpetrated by individuals. Do we blame baseball promotion or the bat for murders caused by baseball bats? Do we blame AAA or cars for pedestrians killed by automobiles? Do we blame knife manufacturers, the knife or knife collectors for deaths by stabbing? Do we blame the newsprint or ink for bad editorial writing? Of course we don’t. In all of these cases, individuals are responsible.

With the freedom of gun ownership comes risk. Conversely, without this risk, there are no freedoms. Benjamin Franklin stated it best when he said, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” This concept is seminal when thinking about gun ownership. The second amendment to the U.S. Constitution exists so that the citizens can stand against the tyranny of government. Without the second amendment, the remainder of the Bill of Rights cannot be defended.

The Sandy Hook school incident was a terrible and horrific massacre, but it was not the fault of the NRA. An individual committed this crime. The founding fathers clearly understood the value of an armed citizenry and the concept of individual responsibility. Any student of history also understands these principles. It’s now time for The Beachcomber editorial staff to arrive at this same understanding.

 

— Jim Plihal

 

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