In response to Jay Lustgarten’s letter to the editor, “Opioid deaths, gun deaths are separate issues,” in The Westerly Sun on Wednesday, April 18, I commend him for absorbing the general gist of my recent letters, that yes indeed, we Americans have many difficult issues to address, and if one reads those letters with some objectivity, it is obvious I made no attempt to conflate the two (key issues) or to pick one, at the expense of the other. In fact, in my latest letter to the editor in the Westerly Sun on Friday, April 13, “The left is missing the real issue — drugs,” I wrote, in part, “Our country may well be in the most dangerous and precarious positon in our history, due to the multiple cancers eating away at us.”
Mr. Lustgarten is a very prolific writer, his letters are published frequently in The Westerly Sun and the New London Day. I read most of them, but unfortunately his verbosity seldom, if ever, provides any insight as to how we as a country may attack our many problems. However, what he does provide on a fairly regular basis are ad hominem attacks, random criticisms, ridiculous distortions, and never, ever, does he even attempt to provide a specific solution. A very wise person once opined regarding random criticism, that “if you don’t have a better idea, sit down and shut up.”
With regard to gun control, Lustgarten seems to be of the opinion that some inroads can be achieved regarding modifying the Second Amendment. I disagree. The simple reason is that the estimated 300-plus million guns in America are owned by a cross-section of our entire society, and it is highly improbable that two-thirds of each house of Congress, as well as three-quarters of the states (38 of 50) will ever consider doing so. So, we can continue on with the hysteria, and continue on with this fruitless exercise, or we can work toward rational solutions, which are to keep guns out of the hands of known threats. If our federal legislators would act, we could avoid many of these random shootings, like Nikolas Cruz in Parkland, Fla., Mr. Lustgarten.
The opioid epidemic may well be the most maddening, and perhaps the most difficult, problem we face for several reasons. First, we have an open southern border that many predicted decades ago would be our Achilles heel, because it is an open invitation for criminals to bring in unlimited volumes of drugs (and it’s happening). Second, unscrupulous drug manufacturers and prescribers of controlled substances. And third, feckless politicians who have very nonchalantly sat back and watched all this happen.
A wave of nationalism sprang up in America about eight years ago, and that wave changed the political landscape like never before in American history. The wave wasn’t created by President Trump, Mr. Lustgarten, it was created by everyday Americans that the lunatic left refers to as “deplorables.” It was that “basket of deplorables” that flipped over one thousand Democrat-held seats at the local, state and federal level since 2010 , and it was that wave, and folks like you, Mr. Lustgarten, that put Donald J. Trump in the White House. We’ll see very shortly if the wave continues.