Not one more

FI-EditorialIn a perfect world there would be no need for the kind of activism the Greenwich Council Against Gun Violence is undertaking because Congress would have already acted.

Then everyone could focus on the bargains being offered at the annual Greenwich Sidewalk Sales Days and there would be no need to urge people to take time to stop by the table being set up by the council outside the Board of Education building on Greenwich Avenue this weekend. But there is still a need and it’s greater than ever because this is an issue that must not be allowed to slip off the national radar.

The council, which has been successful in its appearances at these kinds of events before, has been spurred into acting by another massacre. This one earlier this year in Isla Vista, Calif., where a deeply disturbed young man who reportedly wanted to kill as many women as possible started randomly firing, killing six people and injuring 13 before he committed suicide. One of the people killed was the son of Richard Martinez, who famously blasted the lack of action on gun law reform as the Congress, despite overwhelming bipartisan support, won’t act on expanded background checks due to Republican opposition.

“We don’t have to live like this. Too many have died. We should say, ‘Not one more.’”

Mr. Martinez said that and he couldn’t be more right. As a country we are in danger of becoming numb to gun violence, and that must never happen. So the Greenwich Council Against Gun Violence will set up on the Avenue from Friday through Sunday to get people to sign cards to be sent to members of Congress who voted against background checks with the message “Not one more.”

For too long common sense reform to our gun laws has been blocked by the paranoid fringe with their nightmares of one world government, gun confiscation and United Nations black helicopters, and of course by the National Rifle Association, which is only too happy to feed the nightmares because it serves its true constituency, the weapons manufacturers making millions off of fear. Members of Congress are either too scared of the NRA’s political muscle or too involved in the feverish paranoia themselves to act. That cannot be allowed to stand.

Sure, you can say that no laws will ever prevent any and all shootings. That’s true. And you can even argue that Connecticut’s laws wouldn’t have prevented Newtown. But the conclusion to those arguments always seems to be “So we might as well do nothing” and that’s unacceptable. It was unacceptable before Newtown just as it was after and it’s unacceptable after Isla Vista.

There has to be a change. That means closing loopholes and fighting weapons trafficking. That means better mental health services. That means stopping feeding the beast that has created such a paranoid culture where guns are always the answer. It means getting involved.

The Greenwich Council Against Gun Violence is only asking for a little bit of your time this weekend and it would be a good thing to give.

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