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Letter to the editor: 1,022

To the editor:

(Edited for length.)

One Thousand Twenty-two. That is how many people in these United States that have died to gun violence as of Jan. 22, 2013, a little over a month since Sandy Hook. This does not include the many who have died on the streets of Chicago in the last week.

• A 3-year old accidentally shoots themself to death with dad’s gun after mistaking the dad’s gun for the Wii remote.

• 2 people killed in Grapevine, Texas, as a man murdered his estranged wife at their daughter’s 16th birthday party and then turned the gun on himself.

•New Mexico, five out of six family members massacred with their own AR-15 by their son. He killed his parents and his three younger siblings, wanting to kill more.

• An 18-year old girl shot to death in Tillamook by a young man she was traveling with.

The NRA would have you believe it is due to violent movies and video games and has little to do with the easy access to guns. Something tells me that the man in Grapevine, Texas, did not spend hours playing violent video games. We claim it is our Constitutional right to own weapons to defend ourselves. But it was also the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for those that had their lives taken too soon.

It is also a Constitutional right, under the 4th Amendment, against unreasonable searches and seizures, but you are subjected to that anytime you step aboard an airplane. You do it because you are willing to give up your freedom for the safety of others.

As a believer of the Contitution, I might not agree with the need for it, but I support your right to own a gun. However, the Constitution does not guarantee you the right to own any style of gun you want, just as the Constitution does not forbid the ownership of guns by felons nor the mentally ill but, throughout our history, we have an occasional lucid moment and have created laws that prohibit such ownership.

Our own small community has been rocked by the tragedy of guns: A family lost two of its beloved members at the hands of a man who owned his guns legally; a woman shot her husband and then killed herself; a man murdered his wife then fled.

Too many of the deaths due to the discharge of a gun were at the hands of someone who was a law-abiding citizen, up until the time they pulled the trigger.

Nicole M. Cowart

The Dalles

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