Gun Safety — I’m Giving Up on the Cause. Here’s Why

Slashing government regulations. A crime? The scene of the Oakland Ghost Ship fire that killed 36 cordoned off as a "crime scene." Photo by Barbara Newhall


By Barbara Falconer Newhall

I give up. I’m not going to get on my soap box and plead for better gun safety laws any more. I’ve witnessed one too many slaughters of innocents. After  Orlando, after Newtown, after San Bernardino I raged and fumed and called for stricter gun safety laws. And now, this week, 50-plus people have died needlessly in Las Vegas, and I’m done.

I’m buttoning my lip. I’m done pleading the gun safety case. I’m leaving it to gun owners and advocates to decide — is the unrestricted freedom to buy and own a gun worth the trade-off? Are American gun advocates willing to risk the inevitable two dozen plus mass shootings a month in their country in order to preserve the current broad interpretation of the Second Amendment? Is that what gun owners really want? I kinda doubt it.

I’m a left-leaning moderate who favors LGBTQ rights, protections for the environment, freedom of speech and freedom of the press, a woman’s right to choose — you get where I’m going with this. And I used to speak up for better gun safety laws.

I know of  at least two kids in my town who died in gun accidents. They were playing with guns. Usually I’ve got plenty to say on the subject. But not this time. I’m giving  up. I’m not getting on my soap box to argue for better gun control legislation this time.

Why? Because it’s not going to happen. Why won’t it happen? Because there are too many people — voters — who don’t want it to happen. Hunters, collectors, people concerned about self-defense: folks who feel their right to own ca gun would be threatened by any modifications in state and federal gun laws.

OK, then. I’m backing off. I’m leaving it up to gun owners and gun advocates to make the choice. I’m done.



  1. I give up too. A waitress I met in a local restaurant — a young woman with kids — jumped down my throat when I mentioned gun control after she commented on the tragedy in Las Vegas. “I’m a hunter,” she said, “and I have a right to have guns.” I was furious — and tired of having this conversation. Here’s what I said in response: “I am peace-loving vegetarian who cares about people as well as animals. I don’t hunt and I don’t want to carry a gun. And I’m so done with people like you.” Period.

    • What troubles me is that that waitress made a whole lot of assumptions about people who would like to see some sensible gun legislation put in place. She’s soooo angry. Why? Because someone is telling her that reasonable people who’d like a few reasonable restrictions put on guns are actually a bunch of crazies who hate gun owners and want to take their guns away. Which, of course, is not true. I’m not done with gun owners, not at all. But I am done with this kind of polarized, angry vituperation and verbal abuse — on the right and on the left — that gets nobody nowhere.

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