Dear Editor:

The United States stands on the precipice of the rabbit hole while it awaits the return of Congress from its summer break. After the recent shootings across the country, the big debate will undoubtedly include gun control. Right now, a knee-jerk reaction may be worse than the problem itself.

The United States is a gun culture and has been since its conception. This culture was so ingrained that our forefathers dedicated an article for it in the Bill of Rights alongside articles like Right to Free Speech and the Right to Worship freely. The Bill of Rights was written to safeguard individual liberties and serve to protect U.S. citizens from excess government power.

The citizenry is divided right now -- on one side, groups are saying, "Take their guns" or "Outlaw that gun," and the polar opposite groups are saying, "Follow the Constitution and maintain a stable government." We are asking our lawmakers to pick and chose which amendment carries more moral obligation than another and once that snowball starts rolling downhill, how do we stop it? Who will stop it?

People are searching for the weak link of the chain to lay blame for these shootings. Almost always, the first group to catch blame is the National Rifle Association (NRA).

The NRA was established in 1871 and has been a friend and has partnered with the law enforcement community to maintain a safe and stable environment for many decades.

The NRA's mission statement reads in part, "To protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially with reference to the inalienable right of the individual U.S. citizen guaranteed by such Constitution to acquire, posses, transport, carry, transfer ownership and enjoy the right to use arms."

Preliminary reports on the gun control debate in Congress is said to contain little or no effect to the solution for the recent shootings. It will only infringe on the rights of the legal and honest gun owners across the country.

Tom Grimes

Metropolis

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