Thank you for your editorial on Sunday, January 19 ("Gun Lobby Day advice") admonishing the gun lobby, dealers and owners to show maturity and restraint and leave their guns at home when they want to talk about gun control.

The gun lobby and gun owners’ threat of intimidation at the demonstration in Richmond is prime evidence of the need for gun control. The great threat of violence that they fear comes from their own crowd. Thankfully the state legislature is responding to the majority of Virginians who want an end to their threat. The paranoia of the great “they” is within themselves. When they feel the need to be armed and defend themselves, it is primarily against themselves. They should listen to Pogo: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

I think this obsession with guns is a mental health issue. It does not give a model or the means for handling the issues we face on many fronts in our nation. Threats beget threats. Violence begets violence. The only way a democratic society exists is for persons of differing opinions to sit and deliberate, not threaten. The only way our democracy has a future is to learn from the past and live in the present so that we make decisions that are relevant to our current needs. Otherwise we keep making the same mistakes with greater potential of disaster.

Every time anything goes contrary to Republican or gun lobby wishes or we have another massacre, they pull out this great threat and encourage everyone to go out and buy more guns and ammo. That is truly a mental health issue.

Thankfully the majority of Virginians are in favor of reasonable laws to provide safety for all who wish to have the primary right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

EDWARD LEONARD

ROANOKE

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