Public should talk about preventing gun violence

Posted 17 January 2014 at 12:00 am


So much of the news in the past year has had to do with the state’s new gun law that I wonder if the subject of the repeal is newsworthy any longer.

Anyone who reads the HUB or the other local newspapers is well aware there is opposition to the law. For the most part, regular readers and those interested in the issue would be familiar with the positions of those speaking out against the law which hasn’t changed much over the course of the debate.

The repetitive nature of the repeal message may be good strategy in an effort to change the law and good copy for the news outlets but it sends a terrible one-sided message to those concerned about gun violence (which I would like to believe includes everyone in Orleans County). The message it sends is gun violence is not an issue, is not important, and is not a part of the debate.

I don’t believe for a minute that anyone who opposes the law intends to deliver this message. It nevertheless is what one can conclude in the absence of any additional or clarifying information. During the course of the debate about the N.Y. SAFE Act, I have often wondered where the discussion about preventing gun violence is taking place in Orleans County. To my knowledge, there is none.

It would seem to me that gun owners and officials who oppose the law would also include in their message something about what they are doing to help prevent gun violence, if anything. I believe the prevention of gun violence cuts across all our deeply held opinions and positions on this matter and could be the one place to begin a county-wide discussion.

Time will tell whether the law is repealed or upheld. Whichever way it goes, we know that gun violence will continue to impact everyone in our county and country. It will take every one of us regardless of our positions on this law or gun control to help prevent gun violence.

Reverend Thomas E. Gardner
First Presbyterian Church of Holley