The following letter was published in the Finger Lakes Times on December 16. It is a response to an earlier letter (follow the link) that paints liberals as those who “hate the police and embrace criminals. They, in general, hate the U.S. military.”
Whoa, whoa, whoa, Celis M. Franco-Raymer! (“No secret that left-wingers hate guns, want to see them vanish,” Times letter to the editor, Dec. 8).
Do you really have evidence that — what did you call us? … “progressive-liberal-socialist-democrat tree-huggers” — hate guns, gun-owners, the military, and every bullet ever made? And also love criminals?
I’m a progressive liberal democrat … (but wait — I drive on interstate highways and appreciate the folks who deliver my mail. Does that make me a socialist, too?).
No doubt I’m a progressive liberal Democrat. I decided to be one of those back in the 1950s. Laws said my black neighbors in South Carolina couldn’t drink from public water fountains, vote, eat in restaurants, or go to public schools that were any good. Those laws were wrong, so in the 1960s I took my guitar around campaigning for Lyndon Johnson (he was against those laws) instead of Barry Goldwater (he didn’t mind them). Really, what would you have done?
Guns? I owned a double-barrel shotgun when we lived on a farm. Sold it when we moved to town. I still like guns — old .22 rifles, a 30/06 I once borrowed, and my shotgun. But not AK47s or Uzis or Glock pistols, of course not. Why do ordinary folks — crazies, too! — need to walk around with military-grade weapons? And why do folks like you get exercised so they can?
Thirty-three-thousand people are killed in the United States by guns every year, 10 times 9/11. We’re the most dangerous place on earth this side of South Africa. Doesn’t that bother you? You really think people are creepy conspirators if they suggest folks put heads together to get military-grade weapons off the streets and coax the concept of gun ownership back toward .22s, shotguns, and the occasional 30/06? Why do you think that’s unreasonable?
“Tree-huggers?” So any of us who care about the environment around here is a fruitcake? You don’t think we need any limits on screwing up the Finger Lakes? You’re OK with taller garbage mountains in Waterloo? And bloated time-bomb bowels of natural gasses under Seneca Lake? That’s a very weird position to take, isn’t it, especially in a great place like this that’s getting messed up by people who don’t live here?
At the risk of being impolite, may I ask you to think for a minute about whose water you really want to carry?
Thank you. And have a Merry Christmas.
Perfect reply, Charles Temple. I agree with your views and though I was raised by conservative parents, also became a liberal because of several experiences. For example, I’m a Vietnam vet (and that’s all I care to say on that topic). Also, during one hunting season (in the ’70’s) my wife and I were walking through posted woods on our property (wearing appropriate clothing for hunting season). A hunter in a neighboring field saw our movement and fired at least three shots at us, fortunately missing us as we hit the ground.
Some estimates say that there are more guns than people in the US. Proper training and regulations are grossly inadequate. Despite the increase in accidental shootings and mass shootings, our government has done little to help control these problems. Personally, I’m doubtful that they ever will.