The new normal

To the editor:

By now the shootings of Sutherland Springs, Texas, and Rancho Tehama, California, have begun to sink toward the recessess of our memories, only to be replaced by the next time someone decides to take more human lives — which, given the uptick in frequency of these events, will likely not be too far off from now. Though the question today should not be as focused on when, but where?

While it is concerning that the number of people killed or wounded by active shooters has increased dramatically since the days of Columbine (Wall Street Journal), the sporadic nature of where these mass shootings occur should be just as, if not more frightening. The sad fact is … we could be next.

So given this bleak outlook, what can one look forward to as a possible solution? Honestly, we don’t have too look far. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, New York City had a murder rate around 2,300 people per year. Today the rate is around 335 (New York Police Department). How is this possible, you ask?

The people in New York City in many ways led to the decrease in violent crime. Simply said, people struggled to hold onto a sense of safety not unsimilar to the people of the nation today. This discontent led to policy change that heavily cracked down on violent crime. The numbers clearly show the methods that were carried out were dramatically effective, so why, then, do the politicians of our nation propose we do nothing but mourn the deaths of a growing population, knowing that in reality if nothing changes, nothing changes? The answer lies in cold, dead hands, a reference that the National Rifle Association perpepuates.

I’m sorry, but the correlation between the decrease on firearms possession and the increasing of penalities behind firearms crimes does have an impact. There are plenty of examples, New York City being one of them. When you know that there needs to be a change and you do nothing, you’re complicit to the continuation of mass murder that’s sweeping our nation.

Perhaps your mind will be changed if, sadly, the issue comes closer to home. Then just maybe you’ll underdand that the right to bear arms doesn’t trump the inherent and inalienable right to the preservation of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Zachary Dahl

Lake Placid

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