An inappropriate, unnecessary word can spoil what begins as a promising thought.

I was so agreeing with Professor Joseph R. Reisert’s commentary on the Dec. 28 opinion page: “Obama must compromise on gun ownership”; that is until reading Reisert’s statement:

“After having proposed only measures he supports, he (Obama) smugly suggested that ending gun violence would require ‘compromise” and offensively said that ‘most of all’ it would take courage.”

Three hundred million guns privately owned by two-fifths of our population is a valid point made by Reisert. Never will we be able to rid our society of its Second Amendment right of gun possession.

Any attempt to resolve irresponsible use of guns, be they small ones or assault weapons, is going to require much moral courage, if there is to be any valid hope for us to deal constructively with this long overdue urgent matter.

It takes profound courage in today’s society for persons to involve themselves by standing up to that excessive hate and indifference to violence. This is evidenced by frequent news as well as woven into so much of our entertainment. Some news reports inform us that three persons every hour in our nation die by a gun.


Weapons often provide little if any security and illusive courage. A sound love and hope inspired courage is required of those genuinely concerned about this violent collision course we presently are on. Without such courage to address all which contributes to this problem, we will surrender to obsessive lobbyists who would have us believe that more gun-packing police and teachers will make our students safer.

Our president was not being offensive when he challenged us to have courage and be available for compromise. There can be no compromise without more than equal portions of courage and confidence of soul and mind committed for the greater good to prevail.

And, of course, as Reisert concludes, wisdom also is needed. But it takes courageous souls to protect wisdom from intellectually dishonest attempts to render it ineffective with political inexpediency.

Lawrence E. Merckens of Manchester

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