December 29, 2012

Another View: Our acceptance of gun violence puts American children at risk

Rather than arm teachers, we should ask why we tolerate the idea that guns are needed.

By JEFF PLUCKER

Ralph K. Ginorio makes the argument that in order to protect schoolchildren, we must arm teachers (Maine Voices, "Teachers, armed and trained, are in the best position to protect kids," Dec. 27).

It is my opinion that the discussion about guns should be focused not upon the weapon but upon what we as a nation want our culture to be.

Afghanistan has a gun culture where virtually all men have a gun, and most people would agree it is the most dangerous country in the world.

There is not enough money in our country to ensure 100 percent safety of our citizens.

Our culture has to accept a certain degree of risk of harm. The threshold for that risk is that we must feel that we and our children are reasonably safe from harm.

In a recent Washington Post article on gun-related homicides in developed countries, the author states that "Americans are 20 times as likely to be killed by a gun than is someone from another developed country."

And yet we as a culture are willing to accept that statistic and feel safe.

I very much agree with Mr. Ginorio when he states, "Anyone entrusted with the potential use of lethal force to protect the rest of us needs good judgment."

But I would also agree with the sheriff from the old cowboy western movies, who would say, "You're welcome to my town, and you're welcome to stay as long as you like, but you're a-gonna have to leave your guns in my office while you're here."

Jeff Plucker is a resident of Topsham.

 

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