“It was Mark Twain who said, “Politi­cians and di­a­pers need to be changed of­ten, and for the same rea­son.”

Calhoun Times - - FRONT PAGE -

One is­sue that can help all vot­ers tem­po­rar­ily set aside po­lit­i­cal party loy­al­ties and ide­olo­gies is what to do about the grow­ing threat of school and mass shoot­ers in Ge­or­gia. I have talked with many Repub­li­cans and the faith lead­ers of 26 dif­fer­ent churches over the last eight months. Most of them qui­etly agree with me that we need to do some­thing be­fore, not af­ter, some­thing ter­ri­ble hap­pens that brings us to our knees in grief and de­spair. They also know we are not giv­ing up our guns. No re­spon­si­ble gun owner has to or needs to. So this is re­ally a sim­ple de­ci­sion on Nov. 6. You ei­ther want the kind of com­mon sense gun leg­is­la­tion other states have al­ready put in place to pro­tect our chil­dren and pub­lic safety or you don’t. My op­po­nent, the in­cum­bent Rick Jasperse, is a sea­soned politi­cian. He’s got lots of signs, lots of money, and plenty of big cor­po­rate donors who want him to re­main in of­fice. His cam­paign is a paean to the sta­tus quo. I get that. But I think he is wrong not to want com­mon sense gun leg­is­la­tion that dozens of other states have al­ready en­acted to help re­duce the grow­ing threat of school and mass shoot­ings and the alarm­ing rates of teen and veteran sui­cides. Rick co-spon­sored Ge­or­gia’s cam­pus carry law which was and still is re­viled by most col­lege pro­fes­sors and ad­min­is­tra­tors. Col­lege stu­dents worry about their gun-tot­ing peers who may be an­gry or emo­tion­ally un­sta­ble or un­der the in­flu­ence. Please do not be dis­tracted by “study com­mit­tees” and dec­la­ra­tions of “en­hanced school se­cu­rity” and fi­nan­cial pledges to “harden” schools. To dis­cuss such stuff with­out own­ing up to the un­de­ni­ably es­sen­tial role of guns in school and mass shoot­ings is in­tel­lec­tu­ally dis­hon­est. In fact, there is much we can do that other states have al­ready done. We can im­pose a wait­ing or “cool­ing off” pe­riod for all gun pur­chases. We can re­quire uni­ver­sal back­ground checks and close the so-called “gun show loop­hole.” We can pro­hibit teenagers from buy­ing semi­au­to­matic ri­fles and shot­guns. We can re­strict gun mag­a­zine ca­pac­i­ties. We can put in place “red flag” laws that en­able law en­force­ment and lo­cal judges to sep­a­rate threat­en­ing in­di­vid­u­als from their guns, in­clud­ing sui­ci­dal teens and vet­er­ans. We can pro­hibit con­victed do­mes­tic abusers from pos­sess­ing firearms. We can re­quire gun own­ers, es­pe­cially par­ents, to store unat­tended guns safely and se­curely. Now is the time for all of us to set aside our po­lit­i­cal dif­fer­ences and unite for the com­mon good. We have a com­mon hu­man­ity. We have com­mon values. Please join me in re­ject­ing “the new nor­mal.” It doesn’t have to be this way. What are we wait­ing for re­ally?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.