Against the Current, No. 162, January/February 2013
Over the Climate Cliff
— The Editors
African Americans Ignored in the Age of Obama
— Malik Miah
Back to the 1920s?
— Dianne Feeley
Other Horrendous Acts
— Dianne Feeley
Walmart: Black Friday and Beyond
— Dave Kingman
The Empire in Decline
— an interview with Gilbert Achcar
Chile: Of Movements and Mayors
— René Rojas
A Life Beyond Imagination
— Bryan D. Palmer
A Letter to the Editors
— Clifford J. Straehley, M.D.
- Honoring Black History
SNCC Movement Worker Reflects
— Gloria House
Black Women and Anti-Rape Activism
— Angela Hubler
Northern Freedom Chronicles
— Dianne Feeley
From "Triple Oppression" to "Freedom Dreams"
— Alan Wald
"Wilding": The Facts and Hysteria
— George S. in conversation with Asha
Occupy the Workplace
— Norm Diamond
The Dialectic of Monstrosity
— Jase Short
Left Out History
— Barri Boone
- In Memoriam
Eugene Genovese (1930-2012)
— Christopher Phelps
Clifford J. Straehley, M.D.
The following letter was submitted to Against the Current by Dr. Clifford J. Straehley, Professor Emeritus of Surgery at the University of Hawaii and retired Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery at Stanford Medical School. He lives in Walnut Creek, California. Since this letter was written, in the wake of the Colorado theater shooting, new massacres of course have occurred including the latest horror at Newtown, Connecticut, giving the issue ever greater urgency — The editors.
ON APRIL 20, 1999 a shooting massacre occurred at Columbine School in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. This horrible event moved me to write a position paper on gun control. I sent this message to all local newspapers and a selection of national magazines, none of which chose to print it. Now, in view of the present horror that occurred at the Century Theater in Aurora, I shall try once again to get my reasonable message published:
Gun control in the USA has been successfully thwarted by the National Rifle Association and its prominent president [in 1999], Charlton Heston. This opposition has always been based upon the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
I ask, why are meaningful constraints upon gun ownership so vigorously opposed by the NRA? What conceivable purpose do multiple rapid-fire arms have except as weapons in warfare? Why is licensing of weapons construed as an unconstitutional restraint upon personal liberty?
We do not object to the licensing of the drivers of automobiles, or so many other areas where license is necessary to conduct business. It seems to me that the following constraints upon gun ownership and use are reasonable.
All gun shops and purveyors should be licensed to conduct their businesses.
Gun sales should be registered and the owners identified.
To own a firearm, the prospective owner must first take a gun safety course.
Weapons designed specifically for warfare should be forbidden to private owners.
Failure to comply with these regulations should be considered a felony.
The NRA of course opposes all such reasonable laws. They say if guns were regulated in any way or even outlawed, then mayhem would still occur using weapons such as knives and swords.
They do not mention the well-established medical fact that stab wounds, even to the heart, are far less lethal than bullet wounds. The NRA does not mention, of course, that the U.S. death rate from firearms far exceeds that in our next door neighbor Canada — as well as in every other advanced nation on the planet.
January/February 2013, ATC 162