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Liberals I know are against guns

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It is something to read the protestations of a former news personality, who routinely expresses his strong views in this section of the paper. And although he has a perfect right to those views, he does not have the right to broad brush everybody who disagrees with him and his ilk as “liberals gone amok.” Liberals I know just don’t believe, as this individual does, that more guns and more executions are the answer.

The recent mall shooting in Maryland was a tragedy for all involved, and a sad commentary for a nation that has seen too many of these tragedies. The shooter was a troubled young man, but this criminal act had nothing to do with whether he smoked marijuana or loved animals or anything else. He was sick. He suffered from the disease of mentally illness. He was one of the millions of Americans who struggle with mental illness everyday, and have no means of getting the help they need. Mental illness is real. There are people who are reading this column today who know someone who needs help–someone who is suffering with schizophrenia, paranoia, and manic depression. These people are not suffering because they smoke marijuana. They are not suffering because liberals have “gone amok.” No, they are suffering because the wiring in their brain is frayed, and thus, their lives and the lives of those who love them are also frayed. Their situation was not caused by their use of marijuana.

Citing studies about what some academic has said about marijuana is all well and good, but tell that to people who are suffering with the debilitating after affects chemotherapy treatments, suffering from HIV, or suffering from the effects of Glaucoma. If there is something that can be done to improve the quality of life for someone who is sick and may be dying– then shouldn’t we error on the side of compassion? A majority of Americans believe that marijuana should be legal. They believe that marijuana is no worse than cigarettes or alcohol–two substances that are legal and have contributed to the deaths of millions of Americans. Do those Americans believe that marijuana should be available to children? No–no one believes that. But they do believe it should be regulated and available to consenting adults. That’s the fact. It is about civil liberties, social justice, and freedom.

Maybe it would be a good idea for this same individual to site recent studies that say that the “war on drugs,” and specifically, the war on marijuana has been an abject failure. This so called war has contributed to the criminalization of millions of young black and brown men and women, who are routinely targeted and arrested for non-violent drug crimes. Their lives are essentially ruined because of the mis-information and ignorance that is spewed by people like this former member of the media. .

Recently, this same person railed against abortion and a woman’s right to choose. But I challenge him or anyone to find someone who believes in abortion. In fact, most “liberals” I know abhor abortion, but the thing they abhor more than abortion is someone who doesn’t have a clue about what women and their families go through when such a personal decision is made. This is the same person who grieves for the unborn, but can easily promote execution on demand and advocate for more guns in a society that is awash in guns. Yes, the mall shootings in Maryland were tragic, but they were not the result of liberalism “run amok.” That is the kind of mean spirited rhetoric used by those who want to impose their beliefs on those of us who disagree with them..

At the end of his recent diatribe; this same person, who is an acknowledged Pastor, said this: “when someone sheds innocent blood and the death penalty is administered, there is no repeat offense.” But this Pastor seems to have forgotten the last words that came from Jesus Christ’s mouth. “Forgive them Lord–for they know not what they do.” No, this does not absolve the person who murdered the people in Maryland, but he was sick and needed treatment—he did not need to be executed. We have lost our way in this country when we can wheel a sick woman into the death chamber in Texas and put her to death–a woman. Really. All killing–abortion or state sanctioned executions are wrong. Maybe this Pastor believes that executions are the “Christian” thing to do. Most “liberals” I know would disagree. And that is one liberal’s take.

 

Prentiss Smith

Shreveport, LA