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Letter to the Editor: Close to home

139 miles to Chico.

Yesterday marked three mass shootings in one day. One very close to where we live.

It is well past time for our collective “gun lust” to end. There have been so many mass shootings, single shootings, accidental shootings and suicidal shootings that we risk being forever numbed to this unnecessary violence.

Obviously, the causes of violence in our country are complex, ranging from abuse, mental illness, inequality, radical ideology and plain stupid meanness. We have government representatives who seem to want to blame every possible thing for gun violence except for the GUN.

And while the reasons for these unspeakable crimes are disparate, what binds them is the underlying infection that plagues this country from the inner cities, down through suburbia, onto the heartland, and from rustbelt to coast to coast, from sea to shining sea: our unyielding, endless lust for guns.

The American affinity for firearms is tied to this country’s very founding, which none of you need a history lesson on, because versions of it have been bickered over and even its place as part of the second amendment of the United States Constitution is considered both sacrosanct and utterly flawed. But it is there, and we continue to deal with that fact every time the news alerts us to yet another senseless tragedy.

Our desire for guns boils down to a desire to kill, and that makes us lesser creatures, period.

Certainly, the first to belch out a defense might be the self-titled sportsmen, the hunters. For them, gun ownership is a sacred rite passed from father to son, harkening to a time when men had to shoot whatever protein was going to fill their bellies and warm their backs for a hard life of manual labor indicative of a far less developed time in history.

As long as our infatuation with firearms exists, people will die. Fathers will die, mothers will die, siblings will die, and children will continue to die. The stark reality is that we will continue to feed our loved ones the gun so long as we continue to treat guns as loved ones.

Candace Fields

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