Sad, angry, grateful, hopeful

To the editor,

How can one feel sad, angry, grateful and hopeful all at the same time? Not impossible, because that’s where I am these days.

The recent horrific massacres in El Paso and Dayton have triggered powerful reactions throughout this country. There is deep sadness for cruelly stolen lives and for the grief of their loved ones. There is anger at cowardly, missing-in-action politicians who have actively blocked meaningful solutions.

Notwithstanding, there is also gratefulness. I am grateful for the many individuals and groups who have worked for so long to educate America, pressuring legislators to bring some sanity to our gun laws.

And yes, there is a bit of hopefulness. My hopefulness stems, perversely, from the fact that recently we have seen a glimmer of change in the rhetoric of our president. This is a man who, in a speech following the Parkdale massacre, could not bring himself to utter the word “gun." Recently though, his back against the wall, he actually uttered the phrase “background checks.” Mind you, I fully expect to hear more of his jiving about the mentally ill, video games, “guns don’t kill, people do,” etc. Nevertheless, I choose to be grateful for this small chink in his armor and hopeful that the work of many good people will in time bring the change we so badly need.

My heroes list in this fight against gun violence includes the Parkdale students, Jim and Sarah Brady, the Sandy Hook parents, and those countless persons who have demonstrated for gun law reform. My villains list is topped by Mr. Trump, followed by cravenly Sen. McConnell, bystander Rep. Bill Huizenga and scores of legislators who abandon their principles for fear of losing the AAA ratings given out by the NRA to their most subservient.

Richard Brouwer

Grand Haven Township

(2) comments


Ban spoons they make you fat.


Richard, your villains list should be topped by the twisted individuals who have committed these heinous and senseless acts. And there does have to be something wrong with these people mentally to commit such atrocities. A person who isn’t mentally ill in some manner is not going to just shoot everyone in sight indiscriminately. I don’t have the solution to keep firearms out of the hands of these individuals. They are going to get them if they want them. What laws are going to prevent it? Criminals don’t give a dang about laws, that’s why they are criminals. Background checks are done on every firearm purchase through legitimate dealers, even at gun shows. I also have my doubts about the viability of so-called red flag laws being forwarded. Are we going to take guns away from military veterans because they may have PTSD? Who makes that decision? I foresee very bad happenings when authorities go these veteran’s homes to confiscate their weapons. Military personnel know the tactics and will probably take out 4, 6, 8, 10 of the authorities before they finally are taken out themselves. And that will occur when the individual is a self-styled militia type who the authorities deem has too many weapons as well. It will occur too often, maybe even daily all over the country. Who benefits from that? I would offer that no one does.

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