Foreigners can't understand our obsession with guns

Thank you, Dan Rodricks, for your plea to stop the gun madness, and for The Sun’s editorial published the same day (“America: We have to stop here and turn it around,” Nov. 6).

I feel so voiceless in trying to fathom Americans’ obsession with guns. I have a collection of articles, editorials and personal comments about horrendous incidents over the years. Each time I have expressed my hope that somehow, somewhere, someone would be willing to take on the challenge of changing this insane culture in which we live.

We recently returned from a trip to the American southwest, where we were traveling with people not only from all over the U.S., but also from Great Britain, Canada and Australia. Unfortunately, the end of our trip culminated in Las Vegas just three days after the shooting there.

The “foreigners” could not understand our obsession with guns. Their countries do not allow guns, yet these are obviously our weapons of choice and can be obtained faster than an appointment with a mental health-care provider.

Back in 2016, I had an opportunity to be with about 50 people from all over the West and Midwest of the country for several weeks. I was the only “east-coaster” at the time and very interested in learning about their lives.

I felt comfortable enough to conduct my own personal poll on gun control. The question was very simple: “In the forthcoming election, how would you feel about having a referendum for or against gun control on the ballot?”

I was amazed to learn that 98 percent of the people said they would welcome it.

We all have heard about the sacred rights of the Second Amendment, which did not include assault weapons or AK-47s, but I’d love to see someone strong enough to tackle the exact wording of that document.

In the meantime, however, I concur with the suggestion that an insurance program to fund medical care, rehabilitation and lost wages, etc., for victims of gun violence could be funded by a per-bullet tax on ammunition. It can’t begin to ease the pain of those who have lost loved ones, but it might help pay for estimated billions of dollars in damages gun violence costs the U.S. every year.

Welby H. Loane, Lutherville

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