An Op-ed on gun violence, domestic and international

  by Marjorie Prince

With the possible exception of those used for hunting game, I suggest that Congress enact legislation banning the manufacture, sale, and use of all handguns and assault rifles. I am saddened by the Republican Party’s disdain for any meaningful gun regulation. While mass shootings dominate the news, thousands die from suicide by guns and other fateful spur-of-the-moment acts of anger and fear using guns. (47,000 Americans died by gun violence in 2021counting both suicides and homicides)-this note has been added by the Pacific Call editor.

Yet how can we curb gun violence here in the U.S. when we pour millions of dollars into fighting wars abroad? As others have noted, in war there are no winners. The American Civil War ended in 1865, but it is clear that many Americans want to continue fighting it to preserve the racist ideology that sees black lives as inferior and therefore subject to unequal treatment in employment, housing, education, health care, in history books, and the terrorism of police killings.

While Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is appalling, with no end of fighting in sight, the U.S. steady increase of money and weapons to Ukraine seems only to increase the deaths and maiming of Ukrainian and Russian civilians and soldiers. Negotiation is the only viable solution. Ukraine should allow Russia to keep Crimea and therefore be responsible for rebuilding it.

U.S. affection for guns and weapons is global and results in too many lives lost. While we work for strict regulation here at home, we also need to end our participation in killing people in other countries. When negotiations occur and fighting in Ukraine ceases, we still will be required to help rebuild what has been destroyed in Ukraine. Because of budget concerns (raised primarily by Republicans), other needs will be neglected.

Let us begin to see parallels between gun proliferation here at home and our use of weapons of war to settle disputes all over the world. We need to work on both issues.