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Letters to the Editor for Monday, December 16, 2019

Letters to the Editor for Monday, December 16, 2019

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A gun owner who backs reforms

An open letter to members of the Virginia General Assembly: I am a gun owner. I live out in the country, in Campbell County. I have about 25 acres, enough for a sizable vegetable garden, in an area zoned agricultural. I’ve a dog, cat, wife, and I see the usual wildlife, rabbits, groundhogs, raccoons, o’possums, foxes, skunks, deer, coyotes, turkeys and even an occasional bear.

For me, living out here, guns are necessary tools. They allow me to keep the rabbits and groundhogs out of my garden and to defend my dog and cat from coyotes. I have no practical alternatives to the gun, and I’m happy to explain that if anyone is interested.

I am also a supporter of sensible gun laws. Way too many innocent people have been killed by way too many irresponsible or angry or deranged people with access to guns. Too many children have been killed for the crime of going to school. Too many shoppers, movie-goers, concert-attenders or family members have died because someone who should not have had access to a weapon managed to get their hands on one.

I support beefing up background checks and closing loopholes in the background check system. I am heartily in favor of the proposed red flag laws that give the authorities the power to temporarily remove guns from people in crisis or who are threatening themselves or others.

I support these measures among others because I am a sane, reasonable, thinking person who is not a danger to my neighbors, my family or myself. Because of that, I am confident that nobody is going to swoop in and take away my guns. But I wonder if that all can be said about those of my neighbors agitating for their local governments to declare a “Second Amendment sanctuary.” I am concerned that their paranoia might just be enough to make them candidates for intervention.

I am also concerned that those opposing any gun restrictions may be successful just long enough for the public at large to become so angry over the unnecessary carnage as to actually do what they fear most: Take away all guns. The opposition to gun laws likes to claim that anyone killing innocents is deranged, yet they have resisted all attempts to find ways to stop those deranged individuals from getting weapons. How many more schools have to get shot up, how many more little kids have to die, before something is done to stop this?

You, as a legislator, are about to be deluged by crazed, paranoid gun nuts. They will threaten you with losing the next election (or worse) if you support sensible reform of gun laws. Do not be afraid, pass those laws. When nobody swoops in to seize all guns, when they see that their fears were not realized, they will calm down, although they may remain somewhat annoyed. If you will support sensible gun legislation, enough people will still vote for you in the next election.

Beyond that, is not the life of a single person saved because a gun is not in the hands of the wrong person far more valuable than a mere job? If losing your seat could save just one life, would you not resign immediately? (That’s a trick question. If you answer no, you shouldn’t be there to begin with.)

Please don’t panic when the gun nuts descend upon your office. They do not represent the likes of me. They are only a loud but irrational minority. Do the right thing. Help save lives by passing the laws necessary to cut down on senseless gun violence.

MICHAEL CORBIN

Lynchburg

The days of the Wild West

Looks like all these radical, far-right GOP counties with their non-binding “Second Amendment Sanctuary” resolutions will have all us back to the Wild West, gun-shooting days of the past.

Once, the GOP said to follow the laws or else. Now say they will not enforce any law they do not like. They all are drink the Trump Kool-Aid! Sad!

KENNETH HUGGINS

Madison Heights

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