I am appalled by the caliber of our national discourse following the tragedy of yet another school shooting. This letter was going to be about how quickly the standard "thoughts and prayers" rhetoric of the GOP plummeted from the level of unhelpful to that of cruel or ridiculous attacks on traumatized children still burying their family and friends.
But with another news cycle, came suggested solutions that were the things of nightmares. The only way to fight our way out of this cycle of self -inflicted carnage is to acknowledge a few facts: The United States has the highest rate of gun ownership in the world, 89 guns per 100 people. Compared to 22 other developed nations, Americans are seven times more likely to die from violence. We have a firearm death rate of 10.2 which is three times higher than the next highest country. Our young people 15-24 are 49 times more likely to die of gun-related murder. Assault weapon deaths during the 1994-2004 ban were 89 compared to 302 from 2004-2014.
And the National Rifle Association suggests that the solution to murdering our children is to put MORE guns into our schools?
They can't be serious! Arming teachers is not the solution. We can not let the NRA's extremist agenda control our response to this nightmare cycle. My family has owned guns for 40 years, but will never pay NRA dues. We support the reinstatement of the assault weapon ban and ALL other reasonable regulations. No constitutional right is completely unlimited.
Corvallis (Feb. 23)