Letter: Seven-Point Plan Is a Fantasy

To the Editor:

Jim Rubens (“A Sevent-Point Plan to Reduce Gun Violence,” April 24) must live in a fantasy world: If the mentally ill would just get treatment, if schools would just prevent bullying (and, apparently, emotional loss!), if administrators and teachers would just pack pistols, then we wouldn’t need to be worried about all of the assault weapons out there, and we apparently wouldn’t need to worry about guns in the wrong hands because there would be no suicide or mental disorder. He totally ignores the statistical role of guns in homicides by domestic abusers; the use of guns as currency to support the growing opiate trade, not to mention guns involved in crime itself; the social and above all economic barriers to treatment for mental health problems and addiction, and the difficulty of overcoming addiction and mental illness in the first place; the uselessness of efforts to prevent all bullying — and countless schools make this part of their curriculum — when the families of bullies are themselves either in denial, or the source of abuse, especially in a culture that celebrates violence in games like Grand Theft Auto.

It takes a special kind of mental “disorder” to elevate the ownership of guns, even assault weapons, over people’s lives, especially when this candidate’s political party has fought tooth and nail to cut funds from every form of social services, including schools, and to take money from the poor, working and middle classes for the benefit of the wealthy, attempting to deny millions access to even basic affordable health care. (So where’s all that treatment going to come from? ) I encourage Rubens supporters to use his seven points for target practice. They would not prevent a single tragedy.

Janice Prindle

South Woodstock