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Letter: Just How Good Are the Good Guys?

To the Editor:

My household owns a grandparent-vintage .22 rifle, which occasionally is used to kill a woodchuck in our garden. If Adam Lanza was a skilled marksman, he might have killed one person with a gun like this before he was stopped. Unfortunately, he wasn’t carrying a hunting gun.

The National Rifle Association says the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. A local citizen boasted that if he had been in Newtown, his gun could have prevented the massacre. Here is my question to the NRA and the would-be hero with the handgun: Are you ready to make good on your claims?

A criminal with assault weapons can drop a dozen victims while the good guy is still reaching for his gun. If you’re going to stop him, you have to see him before he starts shooting. Are you willing to do what it takes?

Will you never again bow your head to pray in church, because that might be the moment the criminal chooses? Will you never again carry groceries out of the supermarket, because you need your hands free to get your gun? Will you never take a video of your son playing baseball because you need to keep your eye on the spectators? Will you never chat with the cashier at Walmart, look at the TV in a sports bar or go swimming at the beach because at any of those moments, the criminal could open fire and you would not have seen it coming fast enough to stop him?

And if you are willing to make this commitment, if you and your fellow good guys are prepared to take your guns and your single-minded vigilance to every school, every church, every bus stop, every office building, every bar, theater, playground and shopping mall, every single public space in this great nation, then here are two more questions: Is this truly what you mean by “the land of the free”?

Wouldn’t it be smarter to get rid of the assault weapons?

Elfie Forbes

East Thetford