What they were trying to say

To the Editor:

The letter "Newtown Parents" by Mr. Reed Garfield (*Caledonian Record, April 19*) is an amazing example of a seemingly deliberate misreading or complete denial of facts. Mr. Garfield's statement that "It's time for Obama and Biden to cease and desist transporting some of the parents of the Sandy Hook tragedy all over the country at taxpayer expense to grease the way for their gun-control legislation," is a breathtaking example of this. Judging from these words, it seems that the many, many victims of our wild west like gun culture should not have a say in the laws which might curb the violence.

These parents of the dead Sandy Hook children and staff members were paraded had before a mostly indifferent senate not to just lubricate gun-control legislation. They chose to do it. They wanted to prevent (or at least make it harder) future massacres of other children and staff at other schools. That they had to go to Washington to try to accomplish this, and no doubt will have to again, is tantamount to their commitment as well as to where the real priorities of much of our Federal Government lay -- priorities which do not lay with the victims.

Mr. Garfield also suggested these parents knew that "more laws not have stopped Adam Lanza." If they felt this then why go at all? Rather, these parents, along with ex-congress woman Gabby Giffords, shot in the head in another massacre, went to capital hill as living evidence of the desperate need for more laws. Perhaps not more laws, but better laws.

I write this from the perspective of someone who nearly became one of these victims. Mine was a drive-by (Boston, 1972) where someone who was "cold and uncaring," to borrow a phrase from Mr.Garfield, shot at me and some friends. Like in so many other shootings, this one was premeditated. With tighter laws maybe the shooter or shooters would not have been able to get the weapon that they fired at us. This is what Gabby Giffords and the Newtown parents and relatives tried to say to an unheeding Congress.

Walter Carpenter

Montpelier, Vt.


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