To the editor:

I have been thinking a lot lately about the victims of tragedy. It’s often in and through tragedy that people find their most powerful motivation and voice to help incite change and growth in others. 

I can’t help feel, however, it is terribly unfair that people who have personally experienced tragedy must continue to be the brave ones who fight for change. 

What makes us unwilling to see the pain of others until we experience it first hand? 

Does your own child need to be gunned down in Walmart to realize gun violence is out of control? 

Do you need to be diagnosed with a terrible illness before you can want affordable health care for all citizens? 

Do you really have to be arrested for a crime that you didn’t commit, to appreciate the need for prison reform? 

Do you have to flee a corrupt government and terrible violence seeking asylum before you can recognize that people all deserve to be treated like humans? 

Do you really need your drinking water rationed to understand that climate change is real? 

Why are we so complacent when it comes to the pain of others? What is so radical and un-American about wanting all people, regardless of background, to be able to grow up in an environment that is safe and supportive? 

Do you really want to wait to experience these traumas first-hand before you are willing to stand up and say enough? 

Fellow humans, you are capable of empathy for a reason. Remove your blinders, and permit yourself to see the pain of others ... and decide to help advocate for change BEFORE you experience first-hand what it means to really suffer. It is time for the masses to stand together and demand change. Stop waiting for the $#!% to hit your personal fan ....

(s) heather green

Cody

(15) comments

grizwald86

Patriot. It's interesting that you object to paying for insurance as part of gun ownership. Gun ownership is already for people who can afford them. Maybe if paying for insurance is a problem, then we should truly make gun ownership the right you want it to be. All the guns can be bought back by the government, and substantial penalties issued for non-compliance....it can be the new "war on drugs." Then the government can issue every existing citizen over 18 an approved gun. This would get illegal guns off the streets, and make sure that every citizen can still protect themselves and their family. I'm guessing you don't like this idea either? Let's be honest. It's not about your right to own a gun. It's about your freedom to own whatever kind of gun you want, without the need to be held accountable should your gun end up in the hands of a troubled teen who ends up shooting 20 of his classmates.





Patriot

Talk about leftist spin - where did you get all that from? At the same time ignore the questions about how your ideas would work.


Gunrunner Auctions

The term "need" is not present in any American laws. Rather "need" is the stuff of Communism (limit on housing, jobs, earnings, amount of children, limit on free speech, travel, etc.). Here in America one does not judge one's "need" for anything. By saying a US citizen does not "need" a certain magazine for their gun and passes laws as such, then that opens a worm can BIG TIME. Wouldn't then someone say: "Hey neighbor! You don't really 'need' a 5000 sq. ft. home or you don't 'need' 500 acres." Or you don't "need" five kids. Or "you don't 'need' a 500 horsepower 'Vette because a 200 horse power engine is just OK with me". OR someone might object to your "need" for too much exercise of the First Amendment and shut down your radio or TV station or your FaceBook.



Further, rifle magazines are simply pieces of sheet metal or plastic with springs. History clearly shows us that smaller magazines can we brazed together and be resprung, plastic magazines can be fabricated in your basement. So any laws against large magazines are absurd. For instance, CO "bans" (what a joke!) magazines over 10-rd. while neighboring states of Wyoming and New Mexico allow 100-rd. drums! Make sense? Of course not. Again: The murderer will simply go to the next state to obtain a large magazine and bring it to CO or build a magazine taller. Magazines are highly concealable and not serial numbered (and the are MILLIONS in this country and NOT controllable). In CA where they have the useless "magazine limit", every murderer used a large magazine. Duh. Gun/magazine "control" never works.



Do not believe what you read in the liberal media. It is not the truth.


cp123

Maybe you should read Dark Agenda and get abetter understanding what lies ahead for the fractured country that is so opposite in beliefs that there will never be consensus agreement , in fact it is impossible.







Also the firearm is equalizer and protector


Publius

Are you OK with subverting the entire Constitution, or just a part of it you don't like? It says, "...shall not be infringed."


Patriot

grizwald – We have no way of knowing if you’re the OP, so be it.







I did think a long time of what to comment and decided to just ask for your solutions. Your letter actually came across somewhat insulting while in fact, my first though was to ask what state you moved here from.







I don’t have solutions either, however I will bring some things up.







There are quite a few videos that show top liberal politicians actually asking for violence against the opposing party. They state that anyone who believes different must be stopped any way possible. Get in republican reps faces and force them from stores and restaurants. While blaming the resulting actions on the opposing side.







Last year there was an individual from Minnesota elected to the House. The laws had to be changed to allow her to wear a jihab while in session and also was sworn in on the Koran. It is a bit amusing because I don’t think that women from most Muslim countries are allowed to drive much less be involved in politics.







One of the latest appearances by the new New York rep called for riots against Israelis.







And be careful of Hollywood. Besides the (sometimes) subliminal political messages in current releases, there is a new one called ‘The Hunt’. It is about a group of elite liberals that kidnap a dozen Trump supporters, refer to them as ‘deplorables’, and release them on an island to hunt them down. It’s listed on IMDb.







As far as I know all the above is verifiable.







So, how do we stop the hate in this great country?


grizwald86

I guess I don't have a way to verify that I am the original poster, except to say that I am. I'm sorry I came across insulting in my letter to the editor....definitely not my intent. More a call for outrage at all the terrible things I see every day. As for where did I move from? While I am "new" to Cody, have lived here for just about 2 years this go around, I was born in Cheyenne, am 5th generation Wyomingite, are the 3rd and 4th generations (with my kids) to live in the home that my mom grew up in (we bought it from her), and am here because Wyoming is absolutely part of my soul. I love it. It's not an easy place to make a living, which is why it took us a bit to figure out how to make it work, but we are here by choice, and because it's where I've always wanted to be. I do have a different perspective than many Wyomingites, having lived in 5 countries personally, and married internationally, but I assure you, I am part of the wonderful state we call home. I think you ask a wonderful question regarding how we stop hate in this great country. I wish I knew. I do think the choices we make as individuals have a cumulative effect. Good begets good, just like poor behavior begets poor behavior. I think we practice kindness, even when we disagree. That's the best I have to offer.


Gunrunner Auctions

I will offer some solutions, but first "Disgusted Taxpayer" needs to be addressed. First, it is inaccurate to suggest that these mass murderers have been using M16's and AK-47's. M16's and AK-47's are NOT being used as these are full-auto military weapons. A limited number are owned by private citizens in the USA, but they are registered and very expensive ($20,000+). Rather, these mass murderers are using semi-automatic versions of these platforms. Big, big difference. There are MILLIONS of these semi-auto versions in the USA and MILLIONS more being sold every year. These cannot be "outlawed". They are used for sporting, competition, hunting purposes and it would not be uncommon for any one person to own five or six or more of these. Same with high-capacity magazines - there are MILLIONS of these in this country. I would also note to DT that the M16 was first introduced as the AR-15 and was marketed to USA sportsmen as a hunting rifle. They are dynamite on coyotes and other vermin to this day! I never travel without at least one.







If anyone thinks that stopping the future manufacture of these types of popular firearms would have an effect I must remind them that Columbine and other mass murders occurred during the Clinton 1994 "Assault Weapon Ban". One merely needs to look at CA - a state has all of these "gun control" schemes and see that there have been MANY mass murders in their state despite them. Do you really think a perp would use a 10-rd. magazine or a 40 rd. magazine to achieve their "plan"? The choice is obvious....







"Gun Control" does not work. Criminals do NOT follow gun laws and never will. There are 450+ million firearms in this country and millions more being sold new every year.







So what is the solution? First, keep this in mind: Extreme force can only be stopped by extreme force. Therefore, those school systems (like Cody) that advertise extreme force will be used on anyone who threatens our precious students will remain safe. There has never been a mass murder carried out in these schools that have extreme force in their buildings.







Likewise, businesses and places of worship must advertise via signs at their establishments that armed security is present. This deterrent will stop mass shootings.







There is no other way to stop these mass murders. If a perp sees that an establishment is armed and their "plan" might be stopped, then they will avoid that place. History clearly shows us that.







How many gun stores and police stations have been the subject of an armed perp? Think about it. These perps are looking for "sheep", not a place where there are "sheep dogs". They have a plan in mind and like the recent Wal-Mart murders it involves them NOT getting hurt. The Wal-Mart perp had on shooting muffs so his hearing would not get affected by the huge blasts from his 7.62x39mm caliber weapon! He knew he would survive. That's why he surrendered to LE peacefully. After the "plan" was achieved, he wanted to live.







Currently we gun dealers background everyone prior to transferring firearms. We check everyone through the FBI database, but that doesn't always stop someone concealing mental illness. Having said that, we FFL's are told by ATF that we can stop ANY sale if we feel something is not "right" or we know the purchaser to be a dope user, are violent or have a bad rep in town. We are the front line troops in stopping "bad guys" from getting guns. In my 20-year career I had refused many sales and called LE to escort people out of my guns stores.







Another solution is for the media to stop naming perps and researching everything about their lives and making them "heroes". Google "Columbiners" some time and you will see what I mean. Columbine Schools spend $1 million a year on security teams to keep "Columbiners" away from the various CO school buildings.







Another solution is for social media providers to run bots tuned to reporting some of these dangerous rambling of perps who post their intents to harm people. History clearly shows us that many of these walking psychos post warnings and even places prior to enacting their "plans". This could be reported to LE.







Another solution is for ATF to arrest and jail felons and mentally ill persons who attempt to buy firearms. Every year I have several felons who attempt to buy firearms. The FBI gives their disposition as "Deny". I must refuse the sale. Then I simply file the 4473 Form in a "deny" file. When audited by the ATF, they may or may not show an interest in that deny file. I am not required to call ATF when there is a "deny", but sometimes they will call me and we will discuss the felon(s) or other persons under disability for a firearm. During recent communications with the ATF, it now seems they want this reported as "illegal activity" and they may begin prosecutions. All FFL's stand ready to assist in this new law enforcement.







Another solution is to do a better job making mental health institutions report those who are mentally ill. This information must get into the FBI data base so us FFL's can get a true report when we run a person who is purchasing a firearm. It varies from state to state on how well mental illness is reported. I have seen such good reporting that when a person was arrested for "domestic battery" in the morning, that afternoon the FBI data base was updated by the afternoon that this person was NOT to be allowed a firearm.





















hakeem454

[thumbup]


grizwald86





I won't even pretend to know anything about different models of guns, but I would still like to offer my point of view, here. The fact that there are MILLIONS of these high capacity magazines in the US I believe speaks to a serious problem. There really isn't a legitimate need for high capacity magazines in the hands of the common citizen. Fun? Maybe. Needed? Nope. You're right, when given a choice, if a shooter wants to kill people using either a 10 rd or a 40 rd magazine, the choice is clear....which is why they are problematic. Gun control might not work (that is debatable) but there is no reason why we should continue making it easy to own such aggressive weaponry. I think mandatory liability insurance would do a lot to lesson the problem. If you're an adult, wanting to buy a hunting rifle, and pass the background check, the insurance is low. If you're young 21, pass the background check, and are looking to buy a semi automatic, perhaps the rates are much higher....just like rates for driving a car are WAY higher for teens than well established drivers.







I feel a need to respond to "extreme force can only be stopped by extreme force." In the moment of a shooting, I would agree with you. That said, boy does this statement make me feel awful as a citizen of this fine country. I can't really address all of the levels that this bothers me, but will say, it's a shame that we are losing our humanity. I really don't think it needs to be this way. If the only way for me to be "safe" as a citizen in this country is to only go to places that have heavily armed personnel and signs threatening extreme force, then I feel like we are truly losing what it means to be free in America.







All that said, I am glad you work with local LE and continue to participate in screening individuals who are looking to buy guns. I would caution you about criminalizing mental health disorders. They are real, and need to be treated and supported, but it shouldn't be a crime to suffer from depression, or any other mental health disorder, any more than it should be a crime to suffer from cancer or diabetes.







Though we clearly disagree on many things, I appreciate the conversation. Thanks.

Patriot

Yep, there it is. Place a high tax on each gun owned so no-one can afford one under their constitutional right! Place a tax on each cartridge too. And the younger you are, the more you pay in regardless that you serve in the military and maybe die for your country........ How do YOU propose a tax (or insurance that YOU call it) would stop the unstable from shooting ANYONE? And who would do all this paying, the honest citizens or the criminals?......... Why not just try what the last so-called president did? Classify the main ingredient of gun powder a dangerous explosive that could be only available to the government. BINGO - 2A still exists and we can own firearms, BUT no ammo. Cool?....... You state you don't know a lot about the weapons but yet feel the need to tell others what we need........ 2A was written into the constitution to protect the citizens both personally and from a tyrannical government. Government tyranny was the reason this country broke away into a great nation!. Why do you feel the left wants us disarmed?....... Do you know why Japan didn't invade the mainland U.S. after Pearl Harbor?........ And who is losing their humanity, the law abiding citizens or the nation's criminals? So penalize the only ones to follow the law - honest citizens, of course!


grizwald86

Patriot, you ask what are my solutions? I have given this question some thought. I don't claim to have the answers on how to "fix" all that is wrong, but I do have some ideas on how to begin to make things better. 1) Social media has given folks the anonymity needed to behave like jerks. We need to remember to engage in civil discussion and consider other view points with the intent to understand instead of the with the intent to simply rebut. We are losing the art of civil discussion, and a lot can be gained from learning how to meet in the middle with people you don't agree with. Have the hard discussions. Take the time to think and consider before you respond. 2) Don't assume that people that represent you are actually representing you. There is so much $ in politics, that many of our representatives have forgotten about the people they are supposed to represent. It is our jobs as citizens to fight to be heard and remembered, to stay connected with current events, to care about integrity in news and media outlets, to seek the truth, and to keep communicating...whether through letters, protests, sit ins, or whatever other method you can think of. What we should not do is simply accept that we have no voice. 3) look at your own little community and see what you can do at a local level to make improvements. Are there organizations than need volunteers? 4) Donate dollars to organizations that really focus on improving situations that you find concerning. Yes, there are overhead costs, but they often have lobbying power, and education and research and employees that are better positioned to make your dollars make a difference. 5) Don't discount the power of kindness and civility. Be a good neighbor. Even if you don't like someone or they disagree with you, consider offering help when you notice them struggling. It's SO easy to find a reason to dismiss those we don't agree with. It's harder to find common ground, despite of those differences. Choose to be the better person, and be kind, civil, and helpful.



I feel there is a dangerous shift in our country right now that is not only excusing, but inciting people to be hateful. We must not accept hate as the new norm. That's what I have. I would love to hear from you, too.


Disgusted taxpayer

"What makes us unwilling to see the pain of others until we experience it first hand?" War...try it sometime. Those of us that have been to war know full well what an M-16 type weapon is designed for,as well as an AK-47. For no reason does any American civilian need anything like these weapons of war to feel macho and parade around like Johnny Rambo. I blame Hollywood and the gutless politicians for the declining culture in this country...all the way to the White House. And just who put those politicians in office?


Patriot

OK, so what are your solutions?


Larry G

Yes!


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