To the editor:
This is in response to the column by Rev. Ian Markham, “Guns and America,” in the June 23 edition.
Markham posits that some arguments in the gun debate are weak and yet he com- mits the same error himself:
“And if you cannot drink alcohol until you are 21, waiting for your gun until then makes sense to me.”
That rationale opens up an entire can of worms of what the legal age should be for anything. I could just as easily argue using your rationale, that if you can buy a gun at 18 then you should be able to buy alcohol at 18. If you are considered an adult at 18 then you should be able to buy alcohol at 18. And if you can buy alcohol at 18 then you should be able to buy a gun at 18. The circular logic continues and continues and continues.
The United States military recruits and trains 18-year-olds to use weapons safely with death as a result of said weap-
ons among service members being ex- tremely rare. This, despite training with high-capacity assault rifles daily. Instead of making weak arguments about age, let’s focus more on possible solutions like proper training and education, and hope- fully prevention.
I concede that this is just one possible solution with which to take as this prob- lem is complicated indeed. I argue, how- ever, that it is more sound rationale than what the proper age is for anything, which is usually a pretty arbitrary line. Twen- ty-seven is a better age for anything in my opinion since our frontal lobes have been fully developed, hopefully. Why not wait until then for anything? And so it goes.
Furthermore, as a priest, perhaps worry less about politics and concern yourself more with the suffering of individuals that causes this violence in the first place.
-Page McGill, Alexandria