NORWALK, Conn. ? The Norwalk Daily Voice accepts signed, original letters to the editor. We reserve the right to edit submissions, but we respectfully ask that you keep your correspondence under 500 words. Please send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org .
To the editor:
A Norwalk reverend asked if it's OK to pray in schools, especially if they're under attack, and the sad answer is that it makes no difference. All the prayers since recorded time did not save families in Newtown from horrible tragedy.
What we need is for the reverend and other community leaders to help deliver us from evil by denouncing those who promulgate the sale and possession of military-style firearms. They should ask that the National Rifle Association be tried for aiding and abetting murder. For years, the NRA has been fighting level-headed attempts to ban such weapons, and its powerful Washington lobby has silenced any logical or moral legislation. Mass murder after mass murder has not muzzled its insistence to let the bullets fly, even when it is so obviously against the common good.
Adam Lanza used a high-velocity semiautomatic Bushmaster rifle to kill his victims. The Bushmaster is the best-selling brand of the AR-15 or M-16, which was developed not for sport but for the military for optimal killing, because its bullets explode in body tissue. The Newtown victims had multiple fatal wounds. Ten years ago, the Washington snipers in 2002 used a Bushmaster to kill 10 people and critically wound three others.
There is also a crying need to increase the diagnosis and treatment of mentally disturbed people who engage in violent behavior. Surely the reverend agrees that we should increase our efforts not only to help such people but to protect the rest of us from their violence. If the mentally disturbed had no access to semiautomatic and automatic firearms, mass murders would not occur.
With this unspeakable tragedy in Newtown, it is high time that we, the people, stand up to the NRA and demand that our legislators finally say, "Enough is enough!" The entire U.S. inventory of these murderous weapons is not worth the life of a single one of the victims in Shady Hook School. I suggest the immediate passage of the following new gun laws for Connecticut:
1. All gun sales must be registered with state authorities.
2. All gun owners must obtain licenses, after undergoing extensive background checks.
3. Public possession and sale of semiautomatic and automatic guns and revolver handguns is prohibited. The state will refund owners for their guns and ammunition.
4. Sales of ammunition should have the same careful accountable documentation as prescription drugs and that the U.S. Army uses to issue ammunition inside this country.
5. Carrying concealed weapons is prohibited.
6. Violations of these regulations are criminal felonies.
This is a start, and I believe that public security will be far better served by law than by prayer.
Scott Kimmich, Norwalk
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.