Letters to the Editor

Massacres are the price we pay for lax gun laws

Priscilla Olivas lights a candle at a street vigil along the Las Vegas Strip on Monday.
Priscilla Olivas lights a candle at a street vigil along the Las Vegas Strip on Monday. The Washington Post

The real lesson of the Sandy Hook massacre and every subsequent massacre: As long as it’s someone else’s loved ones who are dying, that’s OK with us, as long as we each get to have all the guns to play with that we want. We are OK with rooms full of dead kindergartners, clubs full of dead partiers, offices full of dead workers, concert venues full of dead fans. Those are strangers dying, and the more important thing is for each of us to keep our guns, all the guns we want.

However, if each of us knew, with certainty, that the price of our country’s lax gun laws would be that everyone in our circle of friends and family, our spouses and parents and children and grandchildren, would die by gun violence, we would fix the gun laws.

Until we fix the laws, all words about shock and horror and tragedy are shameful, meaningless hypocrisy. There have always been unbalanced people in the world, but they haven’t always had access to such vast arsenals. It’s our country’s priorities causing the deaths: We have decided we prefer massacres over reasonable gun laws. And we need to take responsibility for that.

Julie Thomas, Morro Bay

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