Letter to the Editor: Questioning Chancellor Gates’s commitment to gun safety


Dear Chancellor Gates,

This is the third letter I have written to you since the publication of “Duty.” This one implores you to do your duty to protect our democratic freedoms by calling out your fellow Republicans for their fringe stand on public safety and gun controls.

As a leader of our nation’s youth in war and peace you know more than almost anyone what a precious commodity they are. They are our country’s future.

Can you imagine going to school wondering if you will return home that day? It is an abhorrent thought. Can you imagine what it must feel like to live through a shooting massacre? I can’t. Can’t you see that millions of American schoolchildren and their teachers are in anguish?

The fringe Republicans and NRA are bound at the hip. They have enshrined the 2nd amendment above all others in importance as propaganda to enrich themselves. This is an amendment quaint in its applicability and opaque to interpretation. This amendment does not hold a candle to the Preamble to the Bill of Rights declaration that our nation was founded to “…insure domestic Tranquility… and promote the general Welfare.”

Where is the tranquility in our lives when domestic terrorists present a much greater threat to our society than foreign terrorists; where is the promotion of the general welfare when so few who cling to their military weapons and domestic arsenals in the name of freedom from tyranny can overrule the vast majority of America.

These are deeply misguided people. I thought government was supposed to be decided by elections, not bullets.

So why are you silent? Why are you not trying to bring the two presidents you served to speak out in unison that our country needs multiple reforms from bans on assault weapons to violent computer games, to leading Americans to an understanding that the vast majority of young killers (mostly white males by the way) are not mentally ill but rather deeply disturbed misfits whose anger is stoked by a deep sense of isolation and rejection and in the past I grew up in would have used knives and not semi-automatic weapons to wreak their revenge on innocent people.

Perhaps I am mistaken and you and former President Bush oppose controls that will rid us of weapons designed only to kill their fellow human beings more effectively and efficiently.

God help you if that is the case. You are not the person I had assumed you to be.

Yours sincerely,

John C. Marksbury

Email John Marksbury at [email protected]


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