Far too many guns

Dear President Trump,

I think one of the major functions these letters serve is that they’ve become a way for me to keep a diary of sorts during this nightmarish time. We’ll certainly have newspaper and other archives, but it will be useful to me later to see some of what was going on for me during this time we are all forced to spend with you. And writing you continues to give me an outlet for my outrage.

So here goes…. you tweeted after the London attack this past week about how “…we are not having a gun debate right now … because they used knives and a truck!” Surely by now someone has pointed out to you the reason not all that many people died in the attack was because the public can’t easily get guns in Britain and so the attackers couldn’t use them. Had that attack happened in the US, the three assailants would have been armed with automatic or semi-automatic military style weapons capable of firing dozens (hundreds?) of rounds in seconds and scores of people would have been killed, not 7. Obviously people (pretty much men) will attack other people (not just men) with whatever they can get their hands on, knives, vans, hammers, their fists, and they can do serious damage with those weapons, including killing another. Absolutely. When people want to hurt other people they can do it with whatever they have handy. Here in the US an awful lot of people have guns handy, and they use them. You may not have noticed, but they usually use guns to kill and injure people they are mad at rather than for self-protection as in the alternate narrative you and the NRA like to tell. Did you forget about the 49 people killed at the Pulse Nightclub almost exactly a year ago? The killer didn’t use a knife; he used a semi-automatic rifle and was able to kill a lot of people quickly. In Britain they don’t need to talk about gun control, but we do — desperately. And we need a president who can connect the dots logically and see how our issues differ from those of other countries because our political and legislative context differs. We need you to have a clue about our reality, which includes far too many guns in the hands of far too many people.

May you be safe.
May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May your life unfold and intersect peacefully.

Tracy Simpson

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