Reader disappointed in editorial

calling for action after shooting


I am disappointed in the Livingston Enterprise’s editorial staff in choosing to publish Liz Kearney’s editorial in Friday’s Enterprise. First, Liz has a right to speak her opinion. Second, the Enterprise has the right to choose to print whatever they wish in that forum.

However, the quality of the piece is severely lacking. Liz’s main point was for the representatives in Washington to “do something.” One of the problems with our Congress is for years they have been “doing something” about various problems and not coming up with solutions. Another, is that not every problem is a Federal legislative problem. She had quotes in her piece, but the quotes were from anti-gun sources who would outlaw all firearms rather than try to solve the root problems of the violence. There have been semi-automatic firearms since the early part of the 20th century. The violence we have been experiencing has been a more recent phenomena. There is more needed to the solution than just banning a certain weapon or weapons in general. We need to look at a number of issues to even start to come up with a solution. We need a look at the social fabric of our society that has been eroding over the past decades. There is a devaluing of human life. There seems to be a “me first” and an “it’s all about me” culture that has not only evolved, but been encouraged. Christian values are mocked. Movies and electronic media more and more promote violence. It will be uncomfortable for some to look at this, but it needs to be a meaningful study, not just a knee jerk “do something” solution. Another factor we need to look at is the security of our schools.

They are “soft targets.” Security personnel at many schools are prohibited from being armed. We’ve heard, “We don’t need more guns on campuses.” The problem is that it takes the police time to respond to these incidents. If you have well trained, responsible security personnel on campuses, it has a deterrent effect as well as a response capability. There is a large pool of retired service persons as well as retired police officers who would be available and already have a vast knowledge of training and experience.

Lastly, as far as Liz’s attack on the NRA, there is no group in this country more concerned with gun safety than the NRA. It is not a monolithic evil organization that wants a gun in every hand. The NRA does work to protect the 2nd Amendment, but it is also an advocate for strong gun safety. Not the “gun safety slogan” that advocates of removing firearm ownership rights, but true gun safety. Can we do more to make sure people who are not responsible or even dangerous don’t have access to firearms? Of course. But a “do something” rant is not the vehicle to get there. This issue needs to be an exhaustive and thoughtful solution that goes to the root of the problem, not just a band aid solution to make some people feel better because they “did something.”

Robert Quinton