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Letter: Fear drives NRA, gun culture in U.S.

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: William Scarbrough


The Walmart shooting in late May is, in my judgment, the most discussed Second Amendment gun issue in Columbus I’m aware of. Expressions of real concern for safety, when guns are clearly being brought into our local businesses, restaurants and places where kids play, are finally being heard from many who have previously been silent.

That’s predictable when the danger of guns is of local concern. However, did you know that the local shooting was at least the second accidental one in a Walmart in May? On May 17, a man accidentally shot himself in the leg at a store in Phoenix.


I’m sure all of you have heard that there have been 74 school shootings since the slaughter of the 20 6-year-olds at Sandy Hook Elementary School. But why doesn’t our newspaper or other media inform us about the report of the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System stating that 800,000 students brought a weapon to school in 2013.

Further, 840,000 youths between 14 and 17 carried a gun at least once in 30 days. Perhaps this is considered too unnerving for broad dissemination. The National Rifle Association makes no distinction about planting fear in the public when its leaders state unequivocally that any suggestion denying the freedom of carrying a gun is an infringement of Second Amendment rights.

Fear is what drives the NRA and the gun culture in the United States. To instill fear in the public, the gun lobby sponsors laws in individual states allowing people to carry and display guns in any business place. Indiana is one of them.

It can be stopped if the business owner posts a sign that says guns are not permitted. Why isn’t this done? Has the NRA convinced proprietors with the ludicrous suggestion that, if such signs are posted, the only people with guns will be criminals who enter the establishment? Is this why a coalition of parents of children who play in The Commons playground don’t petition the group managing the facility to post signs prohibiting guns?

The Indiana Legislature is so compliant with the dictates of the NRA that a law was passed last year that allows you to shoot a police officer if he/she enters your home without a search warrant. Have you ever heard of such nincompoopery from a deliberative group in which some have legal backgrounds? Or is it better described as disrespect of police officers? The NRA says they are never in time to help you if you’re confronted with a bad guy with a gun. In other words, useless.

The problem is not the wording of the Second Amendment. Most people, including myself, support the Second Amendment. That said, I am also vehemently opposed to what the NRA tells us, along with its followers in the gun culture and the five Republican justices of the Supreme Court, those 27 words and two commas mean. Madness happens.

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