Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — Not the same TC
While I am not a member of the National Rifle Association, John E. McDonald’s March 3 letter headlined “Blood On Our Hands” concerning a ban on assault style weapons and carrying it over to handguns has made me seriously reconsider joining only to quiet people like this. Once again, this is a case of eliminating the tool and doing nothing about the person responsible for using it.
I am in favor of stringent background checks; like having a driver’s license, owning a handgun should be a privilege, not a right. However, Mr. McDonald would also like to eliminate “personal protection and defense” as a reason for having a handgun. Purchases could only be by those individuals deemed worthy of having a handgun. Mr. McDonald would like us to follow his example and bury our heads in the sand, adopt a victim mentality, hoping that when intruders are at our doorstep, we simply let things take their natural course.
Mr. McDonald, this isn’t the Traverse City that existed 50 years ago. The world is full of predators and law enforcement agencies can’t be at your doorstep at a moment’s notice.
A matter of faith
Society says churches and private organizations (Boy Scouts) can discriminate; these rules I believe prudent. A church shouldn’t be forced to marry anyone, nor a group forced to include anyone in opposition to their standards of morality.
However, is it not fair then to expect similar courtesy in the public arena, that such groups not force their religious values on civil society or on other faiths? Some church communities wish to celebrate the marriages of gay members. Why should they not have this right? Why should people in committed gay relationships be denied the same rights of hospital visitation, joint custody of children, inheritance, etc.? I look forward to a society more stable and pro-family, that celebrates the loving relationships of all its members.
Similarly, many Boy Scout troops and councils wish to include gay scouts. Why should they not have the right to decide their own membership standards? Troops that share my values (visit ScoutsforEquality.com) face the impossible choice either of smashing their collective moral compass or lying to cover for gay scouts. Scouts cannot profess religious tolerance while denying religious expression of scouts and troops for whom inclusion is a matter of faith.
The writer is an Eagle Scout.