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Letter to the Editor: We must remove the blinders

Editor:

It should be embarrassing and humbling to us as adults when our youth have to assemble to implore us to protect them from gun violence. One placard a young person carried basically said it all, “Money killed my friends.”

It’s as if we have been in a trance for years and have willfully ignored the obvious need to react to gun violence. Just as we have normalized Trump’s behavior, once again we have travelled that normalization route. “Sympathy and prayers” are obviously needed, but where’s the “empathy,” common sense and outrage, and shock?

We obviously need gun reform. How long can we “milk” the second amendment “right to bear arms” argument? We surely have that right, but context, please! I don’t believe the authors could have envisioned the current arrival of military-style assault weapons now available.

The NRA, gun lobbyists, Congress, and the president bear a huge responsibility for our current situation and are empowered to change it. These cowards need a spine. Congress and our president seem hypnotized, kowtowing in lock-step to the NRA agenda. The NRA seems to “own” them. I was shocked and angered to learn the amount of campaign contributions given our “leaders” by the NRA. Those who “own” you have the power and will use it.

We need discussions and action in lots of areas affecting gun violence: easy access to arms; mental health issues; manufacturers’ responsibility and immunity from prosecution for resulting violence from gun sales; campaign finance reform; and violence in the entertainment industry. This is the least we can do for our youth. They are counting on us to do better! It is sad that we must take the lead from them.

Where will it all end? Just when you think we’ve hit “rock bottom,” it gives way again. Our clean-up job will not end until we have campaign finance reform and term limits. Let’s not let our “democracy” slip away any further.

On March 24, in Washington, D.C., youth are planning a “March for Our Lives” event that we can support as we are able.

Linda F. Norris, Maurertown

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