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Letter to the Editor - Jan. 1

January 01, 2013

We also have the right not to be shot

To the editor:

Video game, movie and other American “entertainment” violence must be toned down, but our failure to deal with two factors in our 30,000 annual handgun deaths stand out — gun control and mental health.

Everybody knows that no one needs automatic weapons or 100-round magazines for sport or self-defense; that the NRA is nothing more than the lobbying arm of the profit-driven Gun Manufacturers Association; and that our government has no desire to “take away your guns!”

Yet the NRA’s primary answer to protecting our children is simply to have an armed guard in every school.
If we agree, then they must also stand guard in every theater, day care center, restaurant, mall, retirement home, church, bar, supermarket, hospital, motel and anywhere else where “innocents” gather, thus creating a contradictory nation which is on one hand a police state and on the other a place where any nutcase can possess enough firepower to take out as many fellow citizens as luck might allow!

Meanwhile, in this greatest nation in the world,  the right wingers who’ve taken over today’s Republican Party, insist that America is finished, done, kaput. None of us, not even billionaires, can any longer afford anything for the good of the nation, ever, period.

As a result, funding for mental health programs has been cut to the bone in recent years, leaving the mentally ill free to roam undetected, untreated, and in some cases, in office as Republican representatives of the people.

And so, as we begin a new year, we must ask ourselves, is this the kind of country we want?

Or as one well-known blogger recently intoned, “Maybe I’m crazy, but I think the right to own a gun is trumped by the right not to be shot by one.”

Paul Politis
Greencastle, Pa.

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