A letter to Rep. Reed about gun control

To the Editor:

A letter to Congressman Tom Reed:

What you argue about gun control is really a non-sequitur.

I agree with a teacher recently interviewed by Ari Melber. The majority of these shootings aren’t committed by the mentally ill. One, indeed, was a hate crime committed against Latinos. Hate is not a mental illness, Mr. Congressman. It’s an emotion.

My brother, sister and I grew up around guns. We shot guns. I know how to use one. Yet, I choose not to own one. I have people every deer season come onto my property to hunt. One hunts solely with a bow and arrow. It doesn’t take an AK-47 to shoot a deer. You would destroy the meat with that kind of firepower. But does our 2nd Amendment right to own such a weapon override our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in this process? For example, you can lose your life just by the simple act of going to a Walmart to buy school supplies for your children if a gunman chooses to go to that store that day and shoot it up for some unknown reason.

I’m an advocate for licensing, insuring, getting basic training for, having age limits on owning guns and background checks. I’s no different than owning and driving a car, which by the way, has been used many times as a weapon against people. I do know guns have serial numbers, but maybe a VIN number like cars have could help forestall, if not a gangster, at least the mentally ill person from getting a gun and using it.

Do you really think the mentally ill’s — let along the well’s — ability to go into a store, practically no questions asked, and be able to buy an AK-47 is in the best interested of the whole of the American people, especially our children?

The 2nd Amendment may give us the right to buy an AK-47, but Mr. Congressman, these guys are weapons of war. My sisters say you have been to the Middle East. Did you experience there, first-hand yourself, what these weapons are truly capable of, even in the hands of experts?

I tell you, we who work in schools, at best, are all sitting ducks. I chose to return to substitute another year. But I’m scared as hell these days, this year, it might be one of our schools getting shot up.

And our Geneva Walmart, so isolated from the town. Yet many people shop there. Sunday morning is just another day to many people now trying to get by. What if a gunman were to walk into our Walmart on a Sunday and do his worst?

I urge you, before you decide to vote “no” again on gun control, to please reconsider. Think about who you might be saving first, if and when you do. Maybe it will be a loved one you cherish.

Passing gun control legislation doesn’t mean we will be getting rid of guns. It just means we will be getting rid of the possibility of another violent, mass shooting against minorities, people in general — and yes, our innocent children.

FRANCES EMERSON

Geneva

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