Another (and another, and another) mass shooting in the United States, and still we are forced to abide by the perverse demands of the minority of our population.  Around the planet, we are condemned as a violent nation addicted to guns.  Among the countless responses by the international community, the sentiment is nearly the same as Spain’s El Pais’ correspondent, Iker Seisdedos, who wrote, “Mass shootings are such an essential part of U.S. life they have their own rules…. It’s a recurring drama, to which America’s lawmakers seem unwilling to put an end — even though they could.”

Our lawmakers are either petrified to aggressively move toward strict gun control, or of a mind that facilitating murder is a constitutional right.  There is absolutely no civilized justification for these attitudes, and yet these are the attitudes that hold the nation hostage.

I am not a hunter, but I can appreciate that some are, and for very good reasons.  What’s missing, though, is a system of accountability for those who feel they need guns to hunt.  And, the guns that hunters need should be actually for that purpose.  Hand guns and semiautomatic, military style weapons do not fall into that category.

We need to “grow up” as a nation and stop acting like children playing this lethal game.  None of the perennial arguments against strict gun control hold water.  They never have.  It’s time that we, the majority of the people in this country, hold our legislators’ feet to the fire and demand an and to their violence and their cowardice.  Without the courage to stand up to the NRA and paranoid gun owners, we perpetuate a culture in which children fear for their lives when attending school, and the rest of our citizenry wonders when it will be their “turn” to be victims.

Dana Williams

Belfast