What is wrong with us?
Letter to the editor

What is wrong with us?

The Chronicle makes another reasonable and impassioned plea in its Oct. 13 editorial (“Needed: sensible firearm regulation”). Like many of its sensible ideas, it will be largely well received in our community but will generally fall on deaf ears.

The editorial appeared on the same day as a New York Times essay that indicated that 3 percent of gun owners command half the guns that are in circulation, an alarming average of 17 weapons per person. Why would anyone who is not intent on killing innocent human beings need that amount of lethality?

Despite his ludicrous promise that crime and violence will end on his watch, President Donald Trump cares about two things: loyalty and winning at all costs. Public safety is not on his radar.

The National Rifle Association gave him its support, and the man who once supported a ban on assault-style weapons pledged himself to be loyal to the organization, which has become the gun manufacturers’ lobby. He has delivered.

As the Chronicle notes, after the Las Vegas massacre horror, the NRA offered to give an inch, seeming to endorse a ban on the selling of bump stocks, the device that enabled the savage mass murderer to mow down individuals in rapid fire.

We are a long way from sensible regulation that would interfere with no legitimate gun rights: limiting the number of guns one may purchase to one per month, imposing universal background checks, banning weapons that are designed to kill human beings quickly, and keeping guns out of the hands of those with severe mental illness and those who are on the terrorist watch list.

An 18-year-old Pennsylvanian cannot legally set foot in a casino or even its parking garage or consume alcohol, but he or she may lawfully purchase lethal weapons. What is wrong with us?

State Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Squirrel Hill) is a courageous leader who has fought against the gun menace for years in a General Assembly that shamelessly made the long rifle the Commonwealth’s official firearm. Sadly, his voice and mine are in the wilderness in the grand scheme of things.

Oren Spiegler
Upper St. Clair

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