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It’s time for real action in America to stop the killing

first_imgAfter the Las Vegas slaughter, President Trump wanted to talk about mental illness — though there is no evidence the killer was mentally ill — but wasn’t willing to talk about changes in gun laws.However, he did promise, “We’ll be talking about gun laws as time goes by.”Enough time has gone by, Mr. President.Another 17 are dead, teenagers who will not come home to their parents and siblings, teachers who will never stand before another class of eager students.It’s time we forget the slogans that diminish the role that guns play in these tragedies and figure out how to keep weapons meant for use on the battlefield out of our schools and churches and off our streets.Linda Chavez, a nationally syndicated columnist, is chair of the Center for Equal Opportunity and a senior fellow at the Niskanen Center. More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? But without an AR-15 at his disposal, a deranged young man would most likely not be able to wreak the kind of carnage we saw here.The Second Amendment was not meant to put such lethal weapons in the hands of individuals intent on killing their fellow citizens — and it’s time we quit pretending otherwise.I own guns.As someone who has often lived in remote places, far away from police in an emergency, I appreciate the right to be able to protect myself.But I am also willing to accept that my right does not extend to amassing an arsenal or purchasing weapons more appropriate for military use than self-protection or sport.Most Americans, I suspect, agree with me, even those who own guns.So why do politicians refuse to consider even sensible restrictions that might keep guns, especially the most lethal ones, out of the hands of would-be mass murderers? In October, a madman killed 58 people at an outdoor country music concert in Las Vegas, the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.The perpetrator had a virtual arsenal at his disposal, which he had amassed over time, with no authority scrutinizing why he was buying so many guns and so much ammunition.To do so, Second Amendment purists contend, would be to violate his rights, as if the Founding Fathers thought every citizen in a well-regulated militia should have a right to equip himself with more lethal firepower than the British expended at the battles of Lexington and Concord, where only 49 colonists died.In November, another deranged individual walked into a small church in rural Texas and killed 26 parishioners.Indeed, churches have, in recent years, been a favorite target of mass shooters, including Dylann Roof, who was convicted of murdering nine people in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.Schools, too, have been the frequent scene of horrendous killings.Perhaps the most horrific was Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where the victims were 20 6- and 7-year-olds and six teachers. But other school killings come to mind: Columbine High School in suburban Denver, where 13 innocent people died, as well as Virginia Tech, where a student killed 32 people.The death count goes on and on — and has been mounting at an alarming rate recently.Three of the 10 most lethal killings in modern U.S. history have occurred in the past five months. How many more people have to die before Congress acts?Donald Trump was once a champion of sensible controls on guns.In 2000, he wrote in his book “The America We Deserve,” “I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun.”In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook massacre, Trump tweeted, “President Obama spoke for me and every American” when he called for stronger gun laws in response.But he changed his position when he sought the GOP nomination for president, largely because the National Rifle Association and its members might have derailed his chances. Categories: Editorial, OpinionGuns don’t kill people; people do.We’ve heard it time and again, usually after some horrific shooting like the one that occurred in a Florida high school on Wednesday, which left 17 people who had been about to leave school on Valentine’s Day dead.Of course, a person pulled the trigger, allegedly a 19-year-old who had been expelled from the school.last_img read more

“Guyana is a model of interfaith harmony”— Granger

first_imgHead of State David Granger on Wednesday described the religious diversity which Guyana enjoys as a “model of interfaith Harmony”.President Granger was delivering the keynote address at the launch of World Interfaith Harmony Week at the Umana Yana – a United Nations event. He said that at a time when hostile relationships and religious conflicts continue to envelop in other parts of the world, Guyana has policies that promote peaceful coexistence by fostering interfaith harmony.He explained that interfaith harmony is advanced through dialogue which in turn promotes understanding of each other’s culture and beliefs, and which, in turn, generates cooperation which leads to development and facilitates the dismantling of the barriers of domination and distrust.United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator, Mikiko Tanaka, who spoke on behalf of all UN organisations in Guyana, said that anti-Muslim hate crimes, xenophobia, racism, anti-semitism and other forms of bigotry are on the rise in the world today and as such, the stability, which comes with interfaith harmony, is becoming increasingly important for countries.“We all have to resist cynical efforts that try to divide communities and portray neighbours as the ‘other’. People everywhere need to feel that their cultural identities are valued and at the same time to have a strong sense of belonging to their community as a whole. As societies become more multiethnic and multireligious, cultural and economic investments and cohesion are required so that diversity is rightly seen as richness not a threat,” she said.The activities to commemorate World Interfaith Harmony Week are being spearheaded by the Inter-Religious Organisation of Guyana (IRO) under the theme, “Fostering Social Cohesion in Guyana”. World Interfaith Harmony Week was first proposed at the UN General Assembly on September 23, 2010, by His Majesty, King Abdullah II of Jordan. It was unanimously adopted in October of that same year. It started as an initiative to bring together leaders of the Christian and Muslim faiths in dialogue, but was later expanded to include all faiths.Meanwhile, Social Cohesion Minister, Dr George Norton told the gathering that patience, tolerance, peace, love, mutual respect and understanding are some of the values inherent in all religions, which should bind Guyanese together.Additionally, Bishop Juan Edghill representing the Leader of the Opposition and the People’s Progressive Party/Civic said that if Guyana is going to safeguard inter-religious harmony, people need to propagate their respective faiths without demonising the faiths of others. He also spoke about the role of education in understanding and appreciating the rights, cultures and beliefs of others.“I believe that there should be greater attention as it relates to our education system; you don’t have to accept it, you don’t have to practice it but if you understand it, you can make space for it to happen without using whatever influence you have to ridicule, stop or condemn,” Bishop Edghill said.last_img read more