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Letter: A way to reduce mass shootings in America

May 10, 2023

I’ll start by saying I’m a retired white male married 43 years with 5 daughters, 1 son, a registered Republican and gun owner.

Mass shootings across America are increasing at alarming rates. Especially the up-tick in school and neighborhood shootings. The vast majority of Americans say prevention starts with banning assault weapons, but Republicans say “we have to accept them as part of living in a free society”

A friend of mine in Arizona spent his career in politics. Now retired, he offered a few comments:

1. Politicians’ #1 primary goal is to get elected and re-elected. To do this, they follow the money. For Republicans, their big donors include the NRA, and out of state corporate lobbyist. The outcome of their legislation is more guns with less restrictions.

2. Parents fear they and their kids are next. Legislatures however are too busy banning books, attacking and dictating school curriculum, threatening to fire or jail our teachers, and degrading minorities such as Americans of color and LGBTQ’s, etc. Our own Rep. Wilcox comes to mind.

3. Women / Mothers can make the biggest difference when going to the polls to vote for candidates who will take real action on guns. That means voting for a Democrat in a red state where the Church tells them how to vote. Even with the increased threat of mass shootings, and as our Republican legislatures chip away at women’s right to choose, now under penalty of second degree murder, they still vote for them.

So what’s it going to take to reduce these mass shootings? Sadly my friend says, only when the close friends or family members of these legislatures start getting shot will we begin to see real change and legislation to reduce gun violence. He said a good start is robust background checks, register and license each gun and mandatory liability insurance. Just like owning a car.

Finally, I won’t be voting Republican anymore.

Chuck Whitehead

Pleasant View


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