Re: “Senate rejects background checks, other gun measures” (TNT, 4-18).
It’s a culture war: the gun lobby vs. almost 90 percent of Americans who want background checks. The NRA. and its allies have built a culture of the heroic, gun-wielding American who might have brandished a gun at Aurora, Virginia Tech or Sandy Hook Elementary School and brought down the bad guys.
Apparently four Democratic senators facing re-election in gun-friendly states caved. If those senators had the courage of teachers at Sandy Hook they could return to their states to explain, “We need a culture of responsible gun ownership, a culture which recognizes your rights but which also protects you and your children and all Americans. It may not look as glamorous as Gary Cooper at ‘High Noon,’ but it is time to get over fantasy and apply common sense.”
Could those senators explain to their constituents that our revolutionary forbears and framers of the Constitution no doubt had common sense? That they would have known that unstable individuals should not have had guns and would have had no qualms about denying them access? That they would have been appalled at the gun lobby’s misuse of the Second Amendment?
Could the senators urge a positive culture of gun ownership, urge constituents to join the majority of Americans who do want background checks?
The senators might say, “If you do not agree and vote me out of office, I will accept your verdict, but I have to do what is right.” That would be courage.