RE: “The leftist case against gun control in Vermont” [Viewpoint, Feb. 21]:
Thank you, The Commons, for providing such a vibrant forum of ideas and opinions in your Voices section. I really appreciated this piece.
Although I’m not yet entirely in agreement with the writer David Van Deusen, he certainly provided clear reasoning behind his opinion and led me to hesitate in my full support of gun-control legislation. The article has sparked much contemplation for me personally and led to some thoughtful dialogue with others.
No political topic stands alone, however, and the piece that was missing for me in Van Deusen’s writing was acknowledgement of the clear connection between Vermont’s loose gun laws and the underground import of heroin into our state [“The Vermont-New York heroin-and-guns carousel that can make dealers a 1,400% profit,” In These Times, July 13, 2015, reprinted in The Commons on July 22, 2015].
Gun murders may not be Vermont’s most pressing issue, but I believe that the opiate crisis is, as it is affecting every aspect of public life, costing us in both human and financial capital.
The statewide effects of this epidemic include draining resources from our police forces, foster-care system, medical facilities, and homelessness-support organizations; introducing trauma to and stunting the development of our children; and causing otherwise-great citizens to become unemployable.
How do we solve one problem without opening the door for others?
I don’t have all the answers, either, but let’s keep brainstorming, listening to one another, and sharing what we’ve learned.