Phil Ringstrom, Sartell
This isn’t a game!
As I sit and watch the courage of the victims and families of Sandy Hook and the firefighters and first responders of West Texas and the populace of the Boston area, I see true grit and patriotism. None of the civilian base responded with assault weapons or armed themselves to prevent these tragedies.
I grew up in a military family. I own 10 guns. I am not fearful of the government taking away my guns or of the recent legislation as a measure to begin that process. I grew up during the Vietnam War and served during that era and the era of the current war. I believe in the purpose, worth and dignity of our country. I believe in democracy and freedom of speech. But I am concerned when a large lobbying group such as the National Rifle Association can intimidate politicians for the sole purpose of supporting the free flow of guns and their commerce. I worry when politicians are polarized by the fear of losing their seats if they support legislation that 90 percent of the population supports. The current political process appalls me.
In 1969, our coach called my football team “gutless wonders” during halftime when we were behind to our greatest rival. I knew better. We were all soon to be draft-eligible and at that time having one brother who served in Vietnam and anther one still serving there, I knew my generation wasn’t “gutless.” I lost motivation for that game.
Now, when some families of Sandy Hook have referred to legislators who didn’t have the courage to support the bi-partisan gun protection bill, nor offer alternative amendments, as “cowards,” I agree with them. It is those legislators who truly are the “gutless wonders.”