Columbine. Newtown. Charleston. Denver.

Fri, 06/26/2015 - 8:45am

Worshipers. Children. Muslim students. Moviegoers.

Once again our news media is consumed with a story of violence and tragic death. 

Once again the terrible power of a gun in the wrong hands has ended productive lives. No other advanced society has the number of deaths by guns as the United States. Why does our country allow this irrational and indefensible spread of weapons? 

Opponents of banning certain classes of guns cite self-defense as a justification for making it relatively easy for our citizens to buy firearms. That's a specious argument. What mass killing has been prevented because average Americans were armed? What horrific crime was stopped because someone had an assault rifle? 

Every year, here on Block Island, hunters use shotguns for food and sport. There is no reason to change that. But the other guns are a different matter. 

As the smallest town in the smallest state, wouldn’t it be great if we could lead the way, pass gun control legislation, and collect unnecessary weapons to be melted down? How about putting Block Island on the map for leading a national effort?

We have seen the costs of inaction in our churches, our theaters, and, all too often, our schools. 

Now is the time for boldness. Will the Town Council answer that call?