The readers’ forum

Culture of guns here to stay

 

There is absolutely no hope that we will see any meaningful restrictions on the availability of guns in this country in the foreseeable future.

I know that’s a pessimistic point of view and smacks of throwing in the towel, but unlike the campaigns against drugs, drunk driving or lead-based paints, guns represent an ethos within the culture of a large portion of our population.

While the NRA and its adherents speak of protecting lives and possessions, they also value the gun as a cultural symbol — it’s practically a religious symbol of the frontier, independence, national pride and bravado. If driving while drunk or taking illicit drugs had those attributes, we would never have had the success in changing society’s view of those activities.

The hit-and-run deaths of youngsters were sufficient evidence of the need for tougher drunk-driving laws. “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk” resonated with reasonable people. If the shooting deaths of 20 schoolchildren and six adults in Newtown, Conn., didn’t change things, then there is absolutely no hope that gun laws will change for the better.

Harvey Rosenwasser, Key Biscayne

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