In rebuttal of Fariss

Published 6:00 pm Wednesday, August 7, 2019


Delegate Fariss wrote in his recent column in The Farmville Herald: “Democrats want to use the ‘obvious, easy and wrong’ approach — ban guns.” That is patently not true. Are all hunters Republicans? Are all gun collectors Republicans?  I think not. I am a life-long Democrat, I have hunted all of my life and I am proud of the guns in my safe. I have known hundreds of hunters and gun collectors, many of them — perhaps most in my circle of acquaintance —Democrats. So I write in rebuttal.

What many of us Democrats and some thinking Republicans, too, starkly oppose is the ready availability of assault weapons, weapons whose only purpose is to kill people. They have no place in the hunter’s cabinet. Yes, as a gun owner and a Democrat, I would have no hesitation in banning assault weapons and the related devices that give them added killing power.

The gun lobby, i.e., the arms manufacturers and their political friends, have sold these people-killers to anyone who wants one, spreading them prolifically throughout our neighborhoods. Carnage is the result, along with the enrichment of the arms industry. The Second Amendment is being abused to make a fast buck off grass-roots people to the endangerment of innocent citizens.

The Second Amendment was not intended to protect assault weapons, grossly enhanced by magazines and bump stocks enabling them to fire dozens of bullets in seconds. Such weapons were not even a figment of the imagination at the time it was written. A shooter in those days would have to be very skilled to get off two shots a minute. But these horrendous killing pieces are cherished by the gun lobby today, and we U.S. citizens are killing each other daily in arenas, schools, churches — anywhere a crowd unwittingly gathers. A dark segment of society, largely white nationalist, is being encouraged, one killer trying to outdo the last one. The American people have been sold a bill of goods having nothing to do with the Second Amendment, written in a different time and place. We should question ourselves, why do we do this to ourselves? We are the only developed country in the world that does; statistics clearly show that.

Mr. Fariss, you have every right to tell us whatever you want to regarding the Republicans’ position on guns. But you either are ignorant about the views of lots of your constituents who are Democrats or you choose to lie about the question. Either way does not dignify a representative of the people.

Helen Warriner-Burke


P.S.: This letter was written on Friday before the two mass shootings on Saturday in El Paso and Dayton.