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Dec-18-2012 12:23printcomments

An Open Letter to Representative Dennis Richardson

As they say in Australia, "wake up to yourself."

Dennis Richardson
Dennis Richardson photo: KOMO News

(MELBOURNE) - The following is an Open Letter to Representative Dennis Richardson. Dear Congressman:

I am an American currently in Australia. You were quoted on the front page of The Australian, Australia's only national daily paper. You said that if teachers had guns at Sandy Hook Elementary most of those children would be alive today.

I would ask you to consider instead, if America had responsible gun laws banning weapons of war and large-magazine rifles and pistols from being allowed to sit in bedroom closets, dens, gloveboxes and desk drawers this event would not have even occurred.

I get asked by perplexed Australians why America seems so smart in so many ways but can't get its act together in taking these awful lethal weapons off the streets (like Australia did, in short order, after its Port Arthur massacre in 1996) and I shrug and say "there are too many people that love their guns, simple as that." I don't know what else to tell them. I, too, am bemused by the lack of action.

As an elected representative of the people I hope you reconsider your position.

And as you enjoy the pleasure of being around young children over Christmas I hope you think of those families who will not have their own children with them any longer after last Friday.

The reason your comments were reported on the front page of the Australian is that they represent what is wrong with the debate in America. The paper's editors didn't have to explain, for every Australian reader already clearly would see, that your comments were idiotic. The picture of 1st grade teachers keeping loaded guns in their desks or strapped in holsters over their aprons during finger paint sessions makes Australians ask "is this guy for real?"

Please show less misguided fanatacism and more reasoned leadership on this issue.

You owe it to your constituents, and to the people, young and old, yet to be gunned down in the next massacre (which by my watch, and based on regular news reports, is likely to happen sometime in March or April).

As they say in Australia, "wake up to yourself."



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Irene December 19, 2012 2:30 pm (Pacific time)

Thank you for this, Salem News. What a misguided and ignorant man. First of all, teachers died attempting to save and protect their students. Second, the killer's own mother had her own guns in the house, besides those that were used to kill her. She was a gun enthusiast herself. Still, she died. Arming teachers? Blaming teachers for what happened? This man is an embarrassment to the state. Central Point, he is now your claim to fame, world wide. I hope you'll do something about that in 2014.

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