- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 24, 2013

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Recently, I listened to gun-rights advocate Tina Wilson-Cohen, chairman of She Can Shoot, say the gun-violence measures currently before the Senate were reasonable, that she was in favor of background checks and that most gun owners were in favor of them. She also said that the problem with more background checks is that they fuel the paranoia of gun owners and certain members of Congress about a federal registry of gun owners. The word paranoia struck me.

There have been times in the history of the United States when the government has made decisions based on paranoia. I’m thinking of the Red Scare of the 1920s, the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II or the McCarthy trials of the Cold War. When our leaders have made decisions based on the paranoid beliefs of their constituents or based on their own paranoid beliefs, it has not worked out well for individual Americans or American society as a whole.

How can irrational beliefs of a small minority keep our leaders from taking a small step toward keeping American children safer? How can being inconvenienced when buying a deadly weapon trump 11,000 firearms homicides per year? How can the special interests win against a majority of the American people?

Forty-four senators have not learned from history. In voting against common-sense gun legislation, the current Senate voted for paranoia and against reason. They voted for the convenience of criminals and the mentally ill and against all the victims of gun violence. They voted for special interests and against the American people. Should we vote for them?

PAULA SEEBODE

Silver Spring, Md.

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