Letter: More Thought, Less Scolding
To the Editor:
A letter in the Dec. 19 Forum from Anthony Stimson (“More Guns Equal More Safety”) got my attention. Stimson opines that the “bleating for stricter gun controls” begs several questions in the minds of “those of us who are still willing and able to think for ourselves.” Later in his letter, he seems to yearn for the days when “guns were available by mail or at most hardware stores,” suggesting it was a safer period in our history. He concludes by saying that it cannot bode well for our republic “that so many are terrified of the technology of the Victorian era and too dim-witted to even be ashamed of the fact.”
My first reaction to this letter was, I’ve read this guy’s stuff before. My next reaction was that it reminded me of a local school board member years ago who went on at length imploring her fellow public servants to agree with an opinion she expressed at length and with much passion. She concluded by saying, “I’m convinced of it.” Another board member calmly suggested, “You may indeed be convinced, but that doesn’t mean you are right.”
I don’t put a lot of stock in sweeping generalizations, as I think were offered in Stimson’s letter. No doubt, there will be a lot said and written in the weeks ahead about how we can improve the safety of our citizens. One of my early observations would be that a few things have changed, not all for the better, since the days of being able to buy a gun at your local hardware store or by mail order. Simplistic views of how we correct our shortcomings as a society probably will not move us forward. I will put my trust and confidence in those more thoughtful, rather than those who advance their view by finger pointing or scolding others who may not agree with them.