By Roger Utnehmer
Civil Discourse: An Occasional Attempt to Restore Civility to Our Civic Discourse
By Roger Utnehmer
President and CEO
An Open Letter to My NRA Friends
Gun violence in America is now sadly a regular reality. Our children and grandchildren are expressing fears and apprehensions we never considered.
The most vivid and graphic violence we experienced was watching the assassinations of JFK, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. That is significantly less emotionally damaging than watching schools drenched in blood with multiple victims repeated over and over and over as gun violence becomes a frequent experience.
I have friends I respect and admire who belong to the National Rifle Association. None have ever shared with me their belief that the second amendment to the U.S. constitution guarantees them a right to own an assault rifle. They tell me sportsmen do not hunt with assault rifles. None are opposed to background checks that would be one small effort to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them.
Yet, the political power of the NRA has kept reasonable steps from being taken that will be part of stopping the tragic, almost perpetual gun violence that permeates our society.
So, today, after another tragedy that could have been prevented, I ask my friends who belong to the NRA to share how they can support positions that keep common-sense gun legislation from being adopted. Please, if you are opposed to background checks and a ban on assault rifles, share your logic.
May we be fortunate to be provided with a respectful discussion about what needs to change…because something must.
What keeps us from banning assault rifles and background checks that could be part of preventing the tragedies we report in our news today?
Has the political muscle of the NRA created such fear and apprehension in our legislators that they keep talking without action when it comes to the toxic topic of gun control?
As for me, I want my grandchildren to grow up in an America without assault rifles in the hands of deranged individuals in much more need of mental health care than the NRA is in need of more political contributions.
That’s my opinion. I’d like to hear yours.