Letters To The Editor: Your Reactions To Gun Control

by Bernard McCormick Jul 2018 Also on Digital Edition

Letters To The Editor: Your Reactions To Gun Control

Gulfstream Media Group’s magazines don’t usually run letters to the editor because, frankly, we don’t get many. Most of our stories are not controversial, at least not enough to cause readers to take pen in hand. Letters to the editor, or in this case to the publisher, are also something of a lost art. When people get upset they usually resort to email. Only occasionally does a story or column motivate a reader to send a letter as thoughtful and well expressed as the one we got recently from Marianne Regan of Delray Beach. Because the issue she addresses is so immediate, and likely represents the views of many of our more silent readers, we decided to print it in full. The column to which she refers echoed a Sun-Sentinel salute to the growing number of elected officials who have decided to defy the state on its permissive gun laws.

Dear Mr. McCormick:

I wholeheartedly agree with your April 2018 editorial and only wish more people would speak out against what anyone can see is a gag order imposed on our elected officials by the NRA. How the people who are running the NRA could twist and turn the Second Amendment ‘Right to bear arms’ into a rallying cry for any moron, racist, nut case, or child, out there to collect, own and brandish weapons of war is a stomach-churning turn of events. In the context that it was written, for the colonies, it was an important piece of legislature as they separated from the King of England and faced life or death consequences. But it does not mean that weapons designed specifically for war have any place in the home or should be allowed for home defense. Our country is not at war and the weapons the average homeowner needs to defend himself are plentiful and available.

I realize that we are both on the same side of the fence and it will take these children, who are not beholden to the NRA, to change things. It will take the elected officials that you mentioned in your editorial to risk everything they have to stand for what is right and sensible. Unfortunately, they may lose their positions, but right behind them will be the children—the Parkland kids or others like them—who will take their places and continue this effort for their children and grandchildren. No one elected the NRA to run this country, which is what they have become, and it is time to disarm them.

Marianne Regan

Delray Beach, FL

At the time of the April column, there were only a handful of elected officials representing their communities who had announced their intentions to defy the state. Since then, the number of communities joining the fight has grown sharply. The last we checked, about 15 cities were part of a lawsuit against the state. Virtually all of them are in South Florida, where gun violence is most prevalent.

The suit is necessary because Florida’s legislature has passed “preemption laws,” which overrule ordinances passed by local communities.

Which brings us to the larger issue. Fred Grimm, a longtime Miami Herald columnist who, now retired, does a Sunday column for the Sun-Sentinel, summed up the problem last month. Grimm pointed out that on both a state and national level, a minority of rural voters can control laws that affect—and are often opposed by—the majority who live in more populated areas. It goes back to the founding fathers, who sought to protect smaller states from dominance by the more populated ones.

Grimm illustrates his theme with climate change, which 72 percent of the people regard as a serious problem, but there is little help from the federal government because a rural minority is not affected by rising sea levels.

The same concept applies on a state level to a variety of subjects, the most current being efforts by people like Ms. Regan to ban assault rifles. Grimm writes: “Most urbanites (except gangbangers who favor assault rifles to settle turf wars) are appalled by the notion of so much firepower in civilian hands. But voters on the other side of the divide, with their disproportionate political muscle, consider the Second Amendment as sacrosanct as biblical verse.”

The irony of it all is that Florida government in recent years has been  dominated by conservatives, who generally favor limited government and oppose some federal regulations that tell states how to behave. But the same people take the opposite view when it comes to them telling municipalities that they can’t make their own 
judgments on any number of issues that relate to local quality of life. Like 
flooded streets.

One guesses it’s the old saying about whose ox is being drowned.