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Letter: Gun owners’ distrust is easy to understand

Gun owners’ distrust is easy to understand

Does President Obama want to take guns away? Maybe, maybe not, but this concern is not without its merit. As our president has been earnestly assuring the public that’s not his intent, one cannot blame those for being cynical when there is a long list of high-ranking politicians who have openly vocalized their intentions to do just that.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has actually been successful in this endeavor by having a law passed to this end. While some cry “no one’s trying to take your guns away,” current New York State law confiscates certain common legally purchased firearms from the estates of law-abiding citizens who pass away. Despite this, people are quick to label someone as “paranoid” when he shows distrust.

With regard to mass shootings, suspicion further snowballs when we repeatedly hear the fallacy, “we don’t see this type of mass violence in other advanced countries.” A comprehensive study published by the Crime Prevention Research Center collected data from 2009 to 2015, and although far from ideal, America places No. 8 with regard to death rate from such incidents, and No. 9 on frequency.

Reassurance by someone with a history of “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” won’t come easy. If there is, indeed, sincerity in Obama’s words on this point, part of his frustration should be directed at those politicians who have substantiated this warranted cynicism. A yet to be heard public excoriation of them and their radical views by our president would certainly help to enhance his questionable credibility and give some substance to the current rhetoric, which simply translates: “trust me.”

Chris Thiel

North Tonawanda