Thursday, May 16, 2024

A letter to the Atlantic analogizing our gun culture to an addiction

 I thought this was an interesting take. It responded to a story about the shooting at Marjory Douglas High School.

The American people relate to guns as addicts relate to drugs. Addicts change everything in their life to accommodate their drug use. They filter their relationships, alter their schedule, and change their living situation—all to facilitate their access to the substance. They blame everything and everyone for what goes wrong, but never the drug.

And so it is with guns in the United States. Law-enforcement officers should alter their techniques because of shootings. Teachers should carry weapons to protect themselves and their students. Sixty-year-old men should be trained to run into the line of fire. Children should learn when to duck and when to run. Everyone attending a public event should know where the exits are. We are willing to put everything second to our need for guns.

The U.S. has a gun addiction. Until the American people wake up to the fact that our drug is killing us, until we stop enabling our addiction, we will continue to see tragedies like that at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Victoria B. Damiani
Malvern, Pa.

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