Letter to the Editor

Off the deep end

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

In a Feb. 28 Letter to the Editor, Robert Sneitzer went off the deep end, finding fault with the NRA and President Trump regarding the recent gun controversy. Many of the gun statistics quoted were exaggerated or simply wrong. Making wild speculations with statistics to prove your point does not help your case.

Blaming the National Rifle Association for gun deaths makes about as much sense as blaming the automobile club for traffic deaths. The NRA has little power as an association. They are way down the list in terms of the size their political contributions. The power of the NRA is with the many voters who own firearms and want to protect their rights as expressed in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

President Trump did not suggest that all teachers should be armed – far from it. What the President suggested was that we stop making schools soft targets. Today, for most schools, the insane shooter can be confident that by entering a school there will not be anyone shooting back. What if we could create a level of doubt? There could be someone present who would shoot back. Arming and training school personal is a local issue to be decided by the local school district and the state.

Many of those with "Trump Derangement Syndrome" can’t seem to differentiate between meaningful discussion searching for ideas and a hard federal mandate to be implemented tomorrow. To begin with, the federal government doesn’t have the power to implement many of the ideas being suggested, but a good discussion could lead to improvements at the local level.

What is most alarming with the Parkland, Florida, school shooting is the failure of the FBI and local law enforcement. The FBI was called in September and January with specific information that could have stopped the shooting. The Broward County sheriff’s office was called more than two dozen times with warnings that should have been heeded. It is becoming more apparent that the local school board, school superintendent and sheriff made a deal four years ago to not arrest any high school students. Their goal was to make themselves look good with lower crime statistics.

Since President Obama was in office for eight years, it would seem reasonable to ask what gun control measures he brought forth. President Trump has been in office for only a small fraction of that time. Wouldn’t it seem reasonable to give the new President a chance before condemning him?

Phil Petersen