Dear Editor:

It was clear from the beginning that the president and vice-president were not really interested in reducing gun violence or in protecting schools and school age children. The focus was immediately on gun control (a historically failed policy), to the exclusion of almost everything else that might be part of the problem. And, gun control/gun grabbing aimed at law abiding citizens, not criminals. Criminals can’t be required to register their firearms and can’t be prosecuted for failure to do so — it violates their Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination, the U.S. Supreme Court in Haynes v. U.S. (1968).

There is increasing talk on the Web (not in the liberal media) that many, if not most, of the recent mass/school shooters were on some form of SSRI drug (antidepressants such as Fanapt, Zoloft, Xanax, Prozac, Luvox, Trazodone, etc.) whose side effects include such things as anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, impulsivity, mania, psychotic episodes, violent behavior, hostility, impulsive or disturbing thoughts that could involve self-harm or harm to others, and suicidal behavior — but we only hear about blaming and banning guns — not overuse of drugs on our children. There has been an increase in mass shootings and child suicide (including the shooters) in the last 20 years that parallels the increased use of these psychiatric drugs over the same period — but that couldn’t possibly be a factor (and the large campaign contributions by Big Pharma to politicians of both parties couldn’t possibly be a factor in the lack of interest in looking at this).

Chicago is one of the strictest gun-control cities in the country, and in one of the most restrictive states. Yet, their gun crime statistics are off the chart. According to the news last week, in 2012 there were 506 homicides in Chicago, about 440 by firearms, 80 percent of them gang related. Approximately 60 school-age children were killed, just not in school and not all at one time. Why don’t we “adjust” the Fourth Amendment to reduce gun violence — target criminals instead of law abiding citizens who have a Constitutional guarantee to keep and bear arms without governmental “infringement.” If we are so ready to abrogate the Second Amendment, let’s allow the police to do targeted stops of known gang members to search them for illegal weapons and seize those weapons. The “remedy” for an unconstitutional search is traditionally that the fruit of the search is not admissible as evidence in court. We won’t prosecute anyone for the illegal weapons, just take them off the street in the interest of “public safety” and “protecting the children.” All you liberals OK with that? It directly addresses the gun violence, and it’s only at the expense of the criminals.

Or, how about this? “The people,” or “a person,” are specifically identified as the recipients of the protections guaranteed in six of the ten amendments in the Bill of Rights. It is without question that it is the same “people” protected in each of them. Teachers are “people” too, why should they have to surrender their rights under the Second Amendment and forego the ability to protect themselves and their students while we talk about laws that will not stop criminals/crazies from killing people.

Jim Huffman

This story was posted on January 17, 2013.