"The height of insensitivity" is the phrase that comes to mind in regard to the Jan. 19 "Gun Appreciation Day" rallies held in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School atrocity and the ensuing drive to establish universal background checks for gun sales and to enact modest restrictions on the ownership of the most lethal weapons and ammunition.
Second Amendment absolutists tell us this is "the most grave" threat to gun ownership since the signing of the Bill of Rights, to which I respond, "I beg your pardon?" Who, pray tell, has proposed sending federal marshals door to door to confiscate 300 million firearms?
Most Americans seek sensible, modest restrictions on ownership of the most lethal weapons and measures designed to keep firearms out of the hands of felons and the mentally unstable. How do proposals to institute universal background checks and ban weapons designed solely to mow down human beings infringe on anyone's Second Amendment right to hunt and protect his or her home?
I wonder how the gun-toting protesters would be received in Newtown, Conn., if they appeared there to rub salt in the wounds of a grieving citizenry. Would any parent or family member of a massacre victim stand by their sides? I doubt it. I suspect the demonstrators would be run out of town.
It is interesting that gun enthusiasts target their animosity at President Barack Obama, who all but ignored the issue until Newtown's day of infamy. Has it been forgotten that conservative icon Ronald Reagan, a victim of gun violence, supported a ban on assault-style weapons? Was he a good-for-nothing liberal/communist as well?
A caller to a local radio talk show stated his concern for the president's safety, given the hatred for Mr. Obama that has been manufactured over the gun issue. I do not support President Obama on most issues, particularly on fiscal matters, and I did not vote for him, but as a patriotic American who celebrates our democratic system and the peaceful transition of power, I share this fear.
Barack Obama is our president, duly elected, the only one we have, and I want him to live. What he now proposes to do regarding guns is not something from another universe. It reflects the will of the majority of the American people.
OREN M. SPIEGLER
Upper St. Clair