To the Editor:
Re “How Small-Town America Sees Guns,” by Robert Leonard (Op-Ed, March 17):
Some of us might remember a popular slogan from another time: “You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.” It’s not a failure to understand these values; it’s a refusal to accept them as tenable.
I grew up hunting pheasants and deer in eastern Pennsylvania. I spent 10 years in West Virginia. My wife is a Texan. Trust me, I know rural values. But we’re not talking about hunting pheasants with a .410 shotgun. We’re talking about assault weapons, about weapons of war. We’re talking about our children.
Those of us who favor gun control are certainly capable of understanding the rural ethos that makes God and guns part of “first principles,” even though most of us would call such a principle a dangerous fallacy.
Saying that for conservatives compromising first principles would be “more horrific and detrimental to society than any shooting” creates a tragic false dilemma. Either we choose guns. Or we choose our children. The Second Amendment is not inviolable. Our children are not expendable.