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Letter: The Problem Is Our Culture

To the Editor:

With the bombing of the Boston Marathon, we now have two very similar acts of terrorism occurring relatively close together. Except for the means used to create mayhem and the target victims, these acts are virtually identical.

Since the Newtown shootings, we have been engaged in a we-must-do-something orgy fanned by politicians anxious to be seen as caring, concerned and, most importantly, willing to do something. Anything will do, even if infringes on the Second or Fourth amendments. In New York state, for instance, your guns can now be confiscated if any health care professional deems you a danger to yourself or others. According to one news report, someone had his guns confiscated after state police were notified he was using a mood-altering drug. Further, it matters not to our politicians that none of the proposals made after Newtown would have prevented that tragedy — and certainly wouldn’t have stopped what happened in Boston.

In Boston, we saw an attack probably more devastating than Newtown accomplished without a single shot. Using the logic of our politicians, we should expect to see legislation banning the sale of large-capacity pressure cookers and fertilizer, and seeking background checks for those wishing to buy any sealable metal container. This, of course, is foolish but is the logical extension of gun control proposals now in vogue.

What these two incidents highlight is that it is not guns or pressure cookers that are the problem — it’s a culture that has lost its respect for the value of human life, thereby encouraging the taking of human life to achieve a political or other end. Clearly pressure cookers are not the problem, and, by the same logic, neither are guns. At least guns have some inherent social value, recognized in practically every culture, on both sides of the political spectrum, in providing for self-defense against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

The political grandstanding following these terrible events is disgraceful and opportunistic. We should expect better of our political leadership.

Allan R. Wylie

South Strafford