Dr. Ruth S. Hertzberg: How many more need to die?
With regard to Morgan Liddick’s column, just exactly what is he trying to say? Does our political history indicate that we’ve always been a violent people from the time John Wilkes Booth shot President Lincoln till today when Jared Loughner shot 19 people, one of them an innocent child?
I agree that Mr. Loughner, an obviously deranged “nut case,” is the person responsible for the shooting, but the remarks of persons like Sarah Palin such as “Don’t retreat; reload” and Sharon Engle “People will be forced to resort to Second Amendment solutions” helped to set up an acrimonious atmosphere in which the only solution for your problems is to go out and shoot your opponents. Probably Mr. Loughner might never have heard of either lady, even though he lives in Arizona; indeed he seems to have been semi-literate at best. If we are going to believe, as illustrated in Mr. Liddicks’s article, that we have always been that way then it’s OK … just ordinary stuff and there’s nothing we can do about it. Just be prepared for the next violent incident … it’s too bad about the innocent people who are killed.
But I also believe that “overheated rhetoric” – whether conservative or liberal – contributes to an acceptance of violence as a solution to one’s problems. Surely we can tone down the hateful rhetoric. Surely we can prevent known nut cases from having access to guns and buying huge amounts of ammunition at a local Walmart; surely we can do something as a society to prevent the occurrence of another crazed assassin going out and shooting up a bunch of people.
In this day and age, the right to own and use a gun should not be one of our basic freedoms; repeal the Second Amendment and tone down the violent rhetoric. Save our innocents … respect and love each other. How many more need to die in senseless massacres?
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