Letter: Americans need to realize the damage their beloved guns can cause

"The trajectory of this argument is not going well and if it is allowed to continue, we will simply be an armed barbarian camp in which the armed survive and the rest submit," Perham, Minn. resident Carl Wannemacher writes.

Letter to the editor FSA

It is a uniquely American problem — guns. Nowhere else in the world are guns as loved and hated, cherished as a national symbol and held up as a national tragedy. Only in America, it seems, can an individual own a semi-automatic military assault weapon with expanded cartridge magazines for up to 100 bullets. Not just any bullets, but battlefield grade 5.56mm NATO rounds in addition to the civilian 2.23mm rounds. I doubt seriously that the founders ever envisioned the savagery of these weapons when they threw on that little Second Amendment addendum to the Constitution.

We are all complicit in the carnage that has come to visit the 21st century in America. Of all the specious arguments explaining this is that guns are not the issue, it is something else. It’s mental health, it’s drugs, it’s poverty, it’s anything but guns. Sorry, it’s all of those things and guns. Too many guns and too many guns of the wrong kind.

Where in this precious Second Amendment did the founders acknowledge that people would need assault rifles and handguns for their effective militias. Come on, we all know better than that. Today the militia (i.e National Guard) are supplied by the U.S. government and can, ironically, be called into action to put down gun-toting citizens bent on overthrowing elections, for example, with their Second Amendment rights.

Half of this country owns guns and half of this country wants stricter regulations on who owns them. The trajectory of this argument is not going well and if it is allowed to continue, we will simply be an armed barbarian camp in which the armed survive and the rest submit.

The news comes each day with new and startling revelations about shooters and their motives but we don’t spend very much time on the victims beyond naming them and listening to their grieving families and posturing politicians who insist it is too early to talk about regulations.


We need to spend more time acquainting the public with the damage that these weapons do to people. The Washington Post made a brave beginning a couple of weeks ago, but we need more; every day we need to see the carnage, the torn and broken bodies of the victims who cannot speak about the horrors they experienced. This is not a television show. These people died horrible deaths ripped from lives in which they were fully engaged with family and friends. Look at the body of that child with so much to live for. This is real! What are we doing?

Some shooters are mentally ill, but their ill capabilities are magnified when they can get access to high powered weapons that have no place in a civilian population.

My wife and many others have said if Sandy Hook could not change the discussion, nothing will. I don’t want to believe that because what lies ahead is so much worse than what we have already come through. We see it already with drive by shooting at dances, parties, malls, schools, offices, anywhere people gather and someone with a grudge can bring a weapon. This is life in America now. It doesn’t just happen other places anymore. Don’t we all hold our breath a bit?

Carl Wannemacher is a resident of Perham, Minn.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

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