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Letter to the Editor: Listen to the students’ cry

Staff Reports • Updated Feb 27, 2018 at 12:00 PM

To the Editor:

“And the children shall lead them…” if they are allowed to do so. It seems the love of firearms and money from the organizations that promote them is greater than the safety of our children. 

I am appalled at the lukewarm response of politicians of all stripes to the students’ outcry against inaction on gun control. That irresponsibility continues to put them in the sites of assault weapons. Any gun is potentially lethal, whether it is a handgun, semi-automatic or fully-automatic rifle or shotgun. No other “civilized” nation has had as many mass shootings as this country. Shame on us if we don’t join these young people and demand significant changes in gun control. 

I can agree with one of Roy Denney’s statements in his recent letter to the editor, most of which was a diatribe against liberals and the media. His last sentences, “The rash of mass shootings goes far beyond a kid with a gun. And this appears to be one thing at which no one wants to look.” 

There is actually more than one thing, but an enormous factor is the conservative Republican-controlled Supreme Court’s decision on Citizens United in 2010. This unleashed unlimited amounts of money from corporations, organizations, etc. into our election system, essentially destroying the democratic process. When billions of dollars are involved, can patronage or evil doings be far behind? I have read that the National Rifle Association contributed $31 million to Donald Trump’s campaign. Think what that could have done to help our schools. That was just to one candidate. Granted, from the beginning of our history, there has been graft and corruption in our government, but Citizens United has had a steroidal effect. Despite the pleas of multitudes of people asking congressional representatives to amend and undo Citizens United for a fairer election process, no such effort has been allowed to proceed. There may still be a bill to that effect, but the Republican-controlled Congress will not let it happen. 

Much more can be done to help the mentally disturbed, but the funding for that help is being slashed. Inequality, poverty, homelessness, racial and gender divisiveness, etc. add to the frustration, but affordable housing is being replaced by high-end real estate, while our Congress continues to pass more lenient NRA-sponsored bills. 

Shame on us if we do not demand political responsibility. We must join our young people’s cry, “enough is enough.”

Beverly Sweeton

Lebanon

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