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Letter to the editor: Face it: we have a gun problem in America

Bob Stephenson's recent letter defending the National Rifle Association and attacking Carol Turnbull for supporting responsible gun safety stimulated me to take immediate action. I wrote out a check and sent it to Gabby Gifford's new organization, Americans for Responsible Solutions to help in her fight for gun safety.

Stephenson's letter was very interesting. He attacked Carol Turnbull for using "inflammatory hyperbole," "condescension and arrogance," and engaging in "demagoguery and insults..." Obviously, he doesn't know Carol, but I do. She is a reasonable, intelligent, well intentioned person who is sincerely trying to solve the problem of gun violence in America. It seems to me that his barbed attacks reveal more about his character than about hers.

But Stephenson seems to believe there is no problem with gun violence, or, if there is, there is nothing that can, or should, be done to solve it. He seems unconcerned that Gifford was shot in the head and six people murdered in Arizona, including 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green. He never mentioned the 12 students and a teacher murdered at Columbine, the 12 people murdered at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., or the 20 little children and 6 staff members slaughtered at Sandy Hook Elementary.

He doesn't point to the fact that more than 30,000 Americans are killed annually by guns and that more Americans have been killed by guns in the first four months of 2013 than were killed in the tragedy of 9/11, the 10 year Iraq War and the 12 year war in Afghanistan combined.

There is no question. America has a gun problem. It can be overcome without infringing on the Second Amendment if reasonable, well intentioned people address the problem in a sane and sensible way. I only hope this happens before gun violence comes to Woodbury.

Tom Hammond - Woodbury