PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA

Letters

It’s about guns, pure and simple

By February 6, 2011

EDITOR:

All the prayers, thoughts and other forms of grief expressed at the shooting of Mr. Sam LaCara won’t help him, his wife, his three kids or his parents, one single iota.  I suggest that all those expressing grief’ at Mr. LaCara’s death put action behind their words.

In the mid-60s, the American Medical Association cited guns as “the No. 1 health issue in this country.” Why? Because of the billions of dollars spent each year by hospitals’ emergency rooms treating gunshot wounds. Because these wounds overwhelmingly affect poor, uninsured people, taxpayers bear the brunt of the costs.

The NRA quickly, and successfully, moved to silence the AMA.

Medical advances since the ’60s mean that many gunshot victims who would have died 40 years ago now pull through but remain handicapped at best, or in a vegetative state at worst. And taxpayers foot the bill for these people until they die.

Last week we learned that the NRA shut down the National Institutes of Health’s research into the effect of guns on our national health care costs. The political power of the gun manufacturers, acting through their puppet NRA, is such that it can shut down scientific research because it claims, without any proof whatsoever, that “it is politically motivated.”

If you really want to stop another LaCara incident (and thousands of similar ones each year), you’ll give up your membership in the NRA, you’ll stop going to gun shows and you’ll get involved in handgun control advocacy. Unless you do that, then offering prayers and “keeping the family in our thoughts” is just sanctimony.

JOHN GARON

Placerville

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