I worked myself through Brooks Lyman’s letter to the Editor of February 13, 2013 in an effort to find a smidgen of sympathy for the victims of our gun culture. You know, the families of the 26 victims in Newtown, Connecticut; the families in Aurora, Colorado who lost members to a shooting in a movie theater; the families of the victims of a cruel shooting at Virginia Technical College; the high school students at Columbine, Colorado; the worshippers at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin; etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.
I found nothing that could be called sympathy, no sign of regret on the part of Brooks Lyman. I suppose he looks at these victims as unavoidable collateral damage of a culture that worships guns, and particularly the right to carry them, without a meaningful examination of the would-be carrier who is assumed to be a law-abiding God-fearing citizen. I am so glad that all US states require at least that would-be drivers take a test before allowed to drive motorized vehicles that might endanger the lives of others.
Brooks Lyman does share with us his discovery that mass murders are actually “quite rare” and “that almost all the mass murders have been committed by liberals-leftists who are either insane or on some drug like Ritalin or off their meds.”
I can’t possibly believe that the guy who shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, a known Democrat, through the head, is a liberal-leftist. No way. He sought her out as she met constituents on a Saturday morning in January 2011. Six people were killed; Gabrielle Giffords survived. Seventeen others were wounded.
We know that the country’s deadliest mass murderer, Timothy McVeigh, was a confirmed hater of our Government who in 1995 killed 168 people, including 19 kids under 6, in a day-care center within the Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City. He built a fertilizer bomb, placed it in his car that he parked where the bomb could do the most damage, in front of the building. He earlier committed a war crime. In the first Gulf War when Saddam Hussein’s troops were driven out of Kuwait, McVeigh was reported to have shot at least one Iraqi soldier who had his hands up in a universally recognized sign of surrender. I suppose the Iraqi must have presented an irresistible target to McVeigh, the gun nut.
Maybe Brooks Lyman saw another liberal-leftist in Anders Behring Breivik, the right-wing activist who murdered 85 Norwegians, mostly teenagers vacationing in a social-democratic youth camp on the island of Utoya, near Oslo.
Brooks Lyman is an apologist of the gun culture and its strident lobbying group, the National Rifle Association, that spends millions year after year to
block legislation meant to reduce the horrors stemming from the easy availability of guns to practically anyone who wants them.
Brooks’s letter does not make up-lifting reading.
Emil B. Rechsteiner