Questioning Beliefs

To the Editor:

The demonstration last Thursday in front of the NSSF headquarters attracted many counter-demonstrators as well as NAA [Newtown Action Alliance] activists. I took the opportunity to approach some NSSF supporters to discover what elements of gun safety legislation would be acceptable to them. I was curious to find out the reasoning of one young man who was holding a sign that read, “NAA protesting against NSSF is like MADD protesting A.A.” The short answer is that the NSSF promotes gun safety and provides training for proper handling of firearms. I continued the discussion by asking the gentleman if he was a member of the NRA to which he answered that he was. “Why doesn’t the NRA support universal background checks?” He wasn‘t able to say and added that he did not agree with everything the NRA does.

I next wanted to know his views on the so-called assault weapons ban and the ban on future sales of high-capacity magazines. He did not believe either of these proposed laws would make a difference in reducing gun violence. Besides, he owned an AR-15 and believed it to be a good way to protect his family. I disagreed and told him that I did not think that a rifle with that kind of fire power was necessary for self-protection. He responded, “Well, I guess I love my family more than you love yours.” I could have taken offense by his remark. Instead, I ended the conversation and moved on.

Afterwards, I thought of the deeper meaning of his statement and of the differences between our values. I think it comes down to this: I believe his need to possess superior fire power is a false refuge. It doesn’t truly make his family any safer. In fact, I believe it might have the opposite effect in certain circumstances not only for his family but for others as well. By his measure, Nancy Lanza displayed the utmost love and devotion to her son. When a belief leads to an absurd conclusion, then I think it wise to question the value of that belief.

Rich Boritz

30 Still Hill Road, Sandy Hook               April 1, 2013

More stories like this: guns, NRA, NSSF


A response to Mr. Boritz

Mr. Boritz:

Suppose the response of the folks outside the NSSF was that no further restrictions would have been acceptable to them....as in exactly zero changes are acceptable....would that make you believe they are insensitive to the pain of the Sandy Hook shooting victims' families? Does believing that restricting firearms ownership is a misguided response to mass murder make you shake your head and wonder how people can be so unwilling to compromise "for the children"?

Whether that is your opinion or not, it seems to be the opinion of many engaged in this debate. And this opinion leads people to entrust Hartford and Washington to legislate...write more laws....take away further freedoms for millions of people who are in no way connected to the mental and moral cesspool once housed in Adam Lanza's skull.

Perhaps your conversation companion didn't mean to be so snarky as implying he more loves his family than you do yours....he may lack your eloquence and wordsmithing skills. You do not appear to know much of this man's background....whether he or a loved one was a victim of gun violence and lives in fear of it happening again. You judge his values and believe he is wrong in his belief that his AR-15 increases the safety of his family. That's your opinion and you're entitled to it, as is he to his.

You should recognize that there is a great deal of distrust in government and universal background checks are believed by a great many people to be one step closer to complete confiscation. You're welcome to believe that is a sign of lunacy or paranoia. Know this however.....the social security lockbox doesn't exist....Obamacare DOES force people opposed to doing so to pay for abortions and contraception....taxes do not come and go, they only come and are supplemented by more taxes.....The Mexican border CAN be controlled just like the 38th parallel is tightly controlled between North and South Korea....government grows in only one direction....bigger and bigger gaining more and more control, and stealing more and more of our money, and distributing it to people who didn't earn it.....Government growth, theft, deceipt and lies are so ingrained in our lives already, gun owners fear it becoming even more so, and destroying one of our most fundamental and important rights.

Elected officials lie all the time....you can bet the farm on it.....why would anyone trust them to write new gun legislation, especially when their focus is so strongly believed to be completely ineffective at preventing mass murder?

Seems to me if there is a belief yielding an absurd conclusion in your anecdote, it is that ownership of guns of any kind, including AR-15s with 30-round magazines is somehow connected to the evil, abhorent acts of the Sandy Hook shooter. The NRA, the NSSF and gun owners aren't the bad guys.....but they are the only people being targetted by the emotion-laden wave of CT-based public opinion presently......definitely absurd and unfair as well.

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