By the time this letter is published, the discussion of gun violence in our country following the mass shooting at the high school in Parkland, FL on Feb. 14 will have ended and we will all be back to waiting for the next mass shooting to occur. Just this year alone (less than two months into the year), there were 17 school shootings in the nation. This one was number 18.
The NRA and its sycophants continue to argue that “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” I suppose one question might be, “How many mass shootings will happen if those people don’t have access to assault weapons like AR-15s?” Assault weapons in the hands of civilians make no sense. There’s no practical use for them other than killing large numbers of people.
So why is it that the country’s politicians are too afraid to do something about this situation when 95 percent of the citizens of this country favor sensible gun control and background check laws, while only 4 percent like things the way they are? Obviously, the sole answer is that these politicians are afraid of losing their cushy jobs if they run the risk that the NRA will fund a political opponent’s candidacy.
Given these facts (“facts” being something that seem no longer to be in vogue in our politically divided world), there would seem to be only one immediate fix to the problem of endless gun violence. The electorate must become an army of one issue voters. Any politician who accepts money from the NRA or who votes against any form of sensible gun regulation should be unceremoniously removed from office at the ballot box. In this case, another undeniable “fact” is that most of the lawmakers who support more guns on the street are Republicans. So, if it means throwing the entire Republican Party out of power on national, state and local levels until they wake up and change, so be it. As has recently been observed, the “thoughts and prayers” of gun loving politicians who automatically blurt out that knee-jerk response to one of these horrendous events are no longer working because, as has also been observed, “god is not listening.”
And for those who may respond to this letter with catcalls of “[expletive] liberal,” it might be enlightening if you knew that until I withdrew my party registration to become an independent voter, I was, for most of my adult life, a registered Republican. And until recently, I was also an NRA trained handgun owner with a concealed carry permit. Today, I am committed to being a one-issue voter. If I can be part of a movement that will save one life by doing so, I will not cast a single vote for another Republican in any election until there is sensible gun control legislation on the books. I can no longer support a party that permits children to die the way they did in Sandy Hook, Parkland and anywhere else.
—Michael A. Levy