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Opinion >  Letters

In the name of ‘liberty’

Liberty. Part of me would like to banish the word from our political discourse. We can’t, of course, because it is part of our shared story. But, as invoked by the contemporary crop of libertarians, I find it is usually an excuse to abdicate the responsibility we share to ensure the well-being of our fellow citizens (an ideal also integral to our shared story).

I find it unacceptable that 30,000-plus Americans die every year from firearms, and thousands more are wounded, and I would like to do something about it. But if we don’t work together using the collective institutions established by our founders (freely elected leaders, legislatures and courts) we won’t get it done.

Tanner Rowe (“America’s forgotten foundation: individual liberty,” July 6) seems to think the grief and pain of thousands of victims and families is an acceptable price to pay to ensure that his sidearm is available to protect against the bogeyman hiding under his bed. Responding to the next mass shooting, he will shrug his shoulders and say, “Not my problem, man.”

Michael Nelson



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