Divided, puzzled

To the Editor:

When it comes to gun safety laws I find myself divided about what’s right and what’s possible. It’s a tough problem. And I have never heard a discussion of it in which any two or three people agreed on anything. Try reaching a consensus about gun safety you might as well make jello stick to a wall.

So I am somewhat puzzled about how the editors of the Valley News (how many are there actually?) arrived at solid agreement on every last thought and every word of their joint and very angry editorial demanding repeal of the state SAFE act. Agreement on every last word, that is. The Newtown school shooting they all agree was, “an outlier in the world of homicides if there ever was one...” Really? An exception perhaps, statistically speaking, since our editors and the FBI tally nearly 10,000 gun killings of one kind or another in 2012. But an “outlier?” The killing of 20 children and six adults in a school is an outlier? Where, in Connecticut? Come on guys. The English language is your bread and butter. How did you come on that word?

I am told that since the Newtown shooting many public schools now practice a drill they call a “lockdown.” It’s not unlike the old fire drills except the kids don’t evacuate the school building. They are herded and sometimes locked into closets and other enclosed areas where they are presumably safe from any crazed individual bent on mayhem. From which we may conclude (can’t we?) that school authorities don’t think about Newtown as an outlier nor even that it is statistically insignificant. I know a 10 year old who gets the hebee jeebies and has a sleepless night after every one of these drills in his city school. He hasn’t yet taken a course in statistics.

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