The rigid gun culture

The attempted assassination of President Reagan in March of 1981 did nothing to convince this remarkable man that Congress should enact more rigorous gun-control legislation. Incongruously enough, he recommended elimination of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), which was charged with gun control enforcement at the federal level. Only after his return to private life in 1989 did he speak publically of the need for more effective gun control.

Rep. Steve Scalise, grievously wounded in the assault on four Republican congressman at a baseball field in the District of Columbia on June 14, only recently returned to the House, receiving a hero’s welcome in the process. On “Meet the Press” on October 8 he made clear to moderator Chuck Todd that the incident has not caused him to alter his pro-gun position.

It has not occurred to Scalise, even in the wake of a physical crisis that brought him “to death’s door,” that the surreal availability of assault weapons in America represents one of the most damning social and moral scandals in the nation’s history.

Rep. Scalise has demonstrated a courageous recovery from his wounds, but like the great majority of his GOP colleagues he lacks the courage to buck the National Rifle Association and the gun manufacturers with which it is associated. What will it take to at least mitigate “the gun culture” in our country?

H.C. (Harry) Nash

Williamsport

Submitted by E-Mail

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