The letter by Dana Williams (Dec. 1 issue), in which he expresses his wish to save lives by disarming us, caused me to wonder also how many Americans die in automobile accidents each year — 256 last year, up from 201 in 2020.

If the intent of Mr. Williams is to save lives by removing the device used to cause American deaths, then let’s confiscate the vehicles.  Following his logic, we’ll begin by identifying the most deadly, first Chryslers. Let’s go after the Chryslers first. And then the Subarus. Lots of them around. Fords are next, and after the Subarus and Fords, the Chevys.

And after we’ve gotten rid of cars and trucks, and people are still dying in crashes, we can collect all the motorcycles. But wait! Now folks are spilling off their bicycles, and running over others, and people are still being maimed and killed. OK, we’ll take away the bikes.

Ridiculous? Of course it’s ridiculous. Any attempt to legislate human behavior by attacking the device, rather than the root cause, is ridiculous. So even if we remove firearms and automobiles and kitchen knives and chain saws and power drills and who knows what else, those psychopathic and sociopathic creatures among us will still find ways to do away with their fellow humans. What then, is the answer?

The answer, from psychiatrists and psychologists, has always been to identify, as early as possible (like childhood), those people with potentially dangerous tendencies and characteristics.  Then treat or remove them from our midst. But that’s both expensive and time-intensive, and it requires concerted effort and vigilance. So it’s just easier and simpler to blame the device.

All this brings us back to the thesis of Mr. Williams’ letter. I wonder if Mr. Williams understands that only the firearm makes it possible for him to even make a public statement, in this case, his letter to the editor.

Yes, in a free society, in THIS free society, Mr. Williams has exercised his constitutional First Amendment right to free speech.  However, it is the Second Amendment to that same Constitution, “the right of a free people to keep and bear arms,” that has guaranteed his freedom to do so. For only an armed society is a truly free society.

Therefore, Mr. Williams, I would say to you: Be careful what you wish for.  May God help us if you get it.

Warren D. Southworth Sr.

Searsport