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Re: 'Responding to Terrell's on-going letters' [Village News, Stagg letter, 9/1/22]

I will refer to the author of the subject letter simply as “the author.” The author says Alec Baldwin’s beliefs and mine are similar because Baldwin is a professed liberal. The author couldn’t be more wrong. I will deploy my erudition relevant to the matter in the following explanation.

It takes way more than political choice to define personal belief, or worldview. Among other things, I believe in the scientific method and fact-based evidence. I believe in our Constitution and our secular government derived from it. My spiritual belief, and that of any other citizen, is a personal matter; that is, nobody else’s business. So, to the author, I’ll quote one of my favorite philosophers, Tom Petty: “You don’t know what it’s like to be me,” or Baldwin.

We can talk about what the media say regarding Baldwin and his shooting of his photographer on the “Rust” movie set. He says he’s not responsible. But he was the one holding the gun when it fired and he was the one who hired the people who handed him a “clean” gun. It beggars belief that so much criminal stupidity could have been assembled in one place.

Had I been there instead of Baldwin, she wouldn’t have been shot, because I know the lethal potential of guns and I know the rules of gun safety. But even if I didn’t, common sense would’ve prevented me from taking someone else’s word that the gun was “clean.” To repeat, any similarity between me and Baldwin is purely suppositional.

Let’s talk about guns and politics. I believe in the Second Amendment, as written; I don’t believe that includes military anti-personnel weapons. Unfortunately, all I can say now is “the horse is out of the barn;” there are already something like 20 million of those weapons owned by U.S. citizens.

But no, Democrats aren’t going to engage in a futile effort to take them, or any other firearms, away. What can be done is treat firearms as we have other social problems like automobiles, tobacco, and liquor, with a program of education and oversight.

Considering the number of guns in the U.S., the apparent ignorance of gun safety is appalling. We should make it a standard part of the public school’s curriculum. Even if a student never owns a gun, the odds are he or she will have friends who do.

John H. Terrell


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