‘Nothing but inaction and platitudes’


An open letter to Congressman Pat Tiberi of Ohio’s 12th Congressional District.

Dear sir:

I am writing to you with both a heavy heart and fear for the lives of more innocent Americans. As yet another group of blameless, ordinary people are murdered, in what has become a weekly cycle of unchecked gun violence, you and your colleagues in the House of Representatives and the Senate offer nothing but inaction and platitudes. Calling in general for more prayers from everyone is an excuse for you and your colleagues to do nothing. It is an action that results in no congressional action at all. It unfairly puts the responsibility for nothing of any consequence happening, to change the situation, away from you and others in Congress.

Tell me what are you doing to help turn off this slaughter? Why have you not joined any effort to stop making available the means by which deranged and delusional individuals can carry out both mass and individual gun-related violence?

Tell me, congressman, how do you and your colleagues not realize and acknowledge that when our Founding Fathers provided for the right to bear arms it was for the protection of a fledgling society in the 1700s. Unlike today, our Founding Fathers established that right because no United States military existed to confront British tyranny.

The right to bear arms was never envisioned to guarantee the right of individuals in 2015 the unfettered access to weapons of war to kill fellow citizens. Tell me, congressman, why you and your colleagues cannot see that the logic that leads to laws that protect citizens from numerous threats to their lives and well-being must now include diminished access to firearms.

We do not allow drunken drivers to continue to drive; the FDA keeps the public aware of the danger of poisoned food and harmful drugs; there are laws that force the removal or sale of dangerous home goods and appliances; cars cannot be sold without safety equipment; the TSA searches our baggage and tracks suspicious travelers; and a host of federal and state regulations save the lives of our citizens every minute. The extraordinary exception to this practice of protecting the lives of men women and young Americans is the almost totally free availability of guns.

The National Rifle Association, the organization that you and your colleagues are so afraid of, used to say: “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” Just as cars don’t kill people, drunken drivers do. So the solution to the problem of more and more gun violence could not be any clearer. When you deny people the ability to acquire guns, people will not be killed.

Congressman Tiberi, it is time for you to take responsibility as the representative of the people of this district to acknowledge that we have a gun violence problem in America that can no longer be ignored. It is time for you … to respond to this problem and do something about it.

Marty J. Kalb

Emeritus professor

Ohio Wesleyan University