As of Wednesday, March 7, 2018
We’ve been getting a lot of letters to the editor and a few press releases addressing the Lady Dragons Fast-pitch team and its board of directors decision to raffle off an AR-15 rifle.
We welcome all points of view, so long as they fit into our policy — nothing obscene, or libelous, and keep it to 300 words or less, please.
The most recent press release we received from a group calling itself Peace in Polk. The release points out that a conversation is a healthy thing for civilization to move forward.
“Public discussion is made more difficult when threats or insults are used,” it states.
We have seen posts on Facebook from a variety of people holding a variety of political viewpoints and a wide range of ages, both in favor of guns and defending the uses of an AR-15 to those who are in favor of more gun restrictions and banning weapons such as the AR-15.
We’ve seen youths take up signs on sticks, flooding the steps of capitol buildings nationwide advocating for stricter gun laws. We’ve seen posts showing people holding AR-15s in churches for a blessing of the rifles.
The people who are adamant about our Second Amendment rights must not forget those of our First, and that those rights belong to all, including those who disagree.
The people who are speaking out about a modern rifle being used as a fundraising device for a youth softball league have as much a right to express their concerns as the people who are buying raffle tickets and supporting the fundraiser.
One thing unites all threads, letters and comments: No one that we’ve seen is advocating for more mass shootings. The thing we, as a community and a nation, seem to struggle with is the path to that goal.
The best way to get to that goal is through conversation, not insults or threats. Perhaps if we remember that the Constitution is here for all of us — the first and second amendments, in this case — we can hear and understand each other’s fears, concerns and ideas, and guide lawmakers to a decision that will benefit all.