To the editor:
The argument presented in state Sen. [Thom] Goolsby’s essay “Firearms and freedom” is flawed.
The senator first notes Gandhi’s endorsement of violence in defense of oneself and one’s family. That endorsement does not imply that Gandhi would approve of the idea that citizens should have access to all the types of firepower available to civilians in this country.
Goolsby further notes that we don’t restrict the use of cars simple because drunk drivers cause fatal collisions with school buses, and we don’t restrict the use of gasoline just because terrorists can use petrol bombs to kill people. So, he asks, why do we, in the wake of a massacre such as the one in Newtown, “always hear the hue and cry for gun bans?”
Well, there is no hue and cry for the banning of all guns; the hue and cry is for the banning of attack weapons designed to kill lots of persons in a very short time.
The American culture is adjusted to customary uses by the general public of cars, gasoline, and guns. But if ordinary citizens were able to buy tanks, the first collision between a tank and a school bus would raise a hue and cry to disallow the sale of tanks to the general public. A similar hue and cry would quickly arise if civilians were allowed to purchase the explosives used by our military forces. In my opinion, the general public does not need to be able to use tanks, bombs, or attack weapons.
Allen C. Dotson