So much has been written about guns and the recent event in Newtown, Conn., that I am reluctant to add more.

I will support the notion that removing all guns will not stop the acts of violence we live with. I also believe that if we restrict the use of guns the way we do automobiles, we will have reduced acts of violence tenfold. Think. How many highway fatalities would we have were there no rules?

Guns are not the only problem, though guns do remain a great facilitator of violence. According to CDC in 2009, there were about 17,000 homicides in the U.S. More than 11,000 of those were committed with a firearm.

Ours is a culture of violence. We worship those who carry guns on a daily basis. We like to think of our policeman and soldiers as “putting their lives on the line.” Most of the 17,000 murdered were innocents. The majority were a threat to no one. Weren’t their lives on the line?

It seems we are led to believe that all of our problems can be solved with a gun. You won’t do what I tell you to do? Out comes a gun. Bang. Bang. Problem solved.

We even have some violence worshippers suggesting that we solve our problems by arming teachers, administrators, even students. What next? Clergy? Social workers?

Landlords? Oh, right. How about that landlord-tenant dispute in Biddeford recently? Two young people killed because of a parking dispute.

The solution is simple, if we have the courage: Love and respect one another.

And we should try to stop crucifying the one who brings us that message. It didn’t work 2,000 years ago, and it won’t work today.

Peter P. Sirois

Madison

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