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We can't throw up our hands while blood spills

Written by Rosa Colucci on .

Predictably, in the aftermath of the horrific murders at LA Fitness ("Four Dead in Fitness Center Shooting," Aug. 5), many Pittsburghers against gun control, including some letter writers to the Post-Gazette, have made the argument that those bent on violence will always find a way to wreak mayhem, that laws are helpless to stop them and the only solution is for all of us to be armed at all times.

Leaving aside for a moment the ludicrous idea of an armed yoga class (leotards and sweatpants with a holster?), I hope these people are also pro-choice. After all, the preponderance of evidence suggests that women who want to end their pregnancies will do so, legally (and safely) or not. Are they also in favor of ending our country's long and unsuccessful war on drugs? It's not as if drug laws make drug use go away. Finally, they should be against speed limits. There's hardly a road in the country where speed limits are not clearly posted, but almost everyone drives too fast.

However, given that American conservatives are often pro-gun, pro-life and "tough on crime," it's unlikely. Admittedly, prohibiting or even curbing any behavior people want to engage in is problematic, but to simply throw up our hands at the whole idea of law and decide everyone needs to pack heat is to give up on civilization itself. These folks seem to have a romanticized version of the Old West, where a lone man with his gun was free and self-reliant. They should remember this: In response to frequent gunfights in their streets, lawmen in frontier towns frequently required visitors to check their guns at the local law office. How much blood will have to stain our streets before we do the same?

 

MATT WEISS
Edgewood

 

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