Letter: Open letter to the governor, Dec. 15

Dear Gov. McDonnell,

I appreciated your statement yesterday on the tragic shooting in Sandy Hook, Conn. I grew up about 30 miles north; the Newtown Bee was our paper of record.

Alas, we have read many such statements of shock and horror. They are important for the moment and I hope give some solace to those left behind. They do nothing for the long term or the immediate problem we face of too many and too powerful guns and ammunition.

You are in your final year as governor . . . a position which gives you a unique opportunity to provide real leadership in the whole question of buying, selling and owning guns. Virginia has long been the go-to state for cheap and easy buying. Really . . . that is inexcusable.

I am 78 years old, served in the military, know something about guns, own a shotgun for varmints . . . but we are not talking here about law-abiding hunters or gun owners. Why is it still so easy to buy and sell at gun shows, at flea markets? And why on earth (short of being a collector) does anyone need to own a semi-automatic rifle with mega clips? They may not come with same, but some convenient manufacturer just happens to make ones that easily adapt. This is insane.

What is your legacy to be? So far we have no way of preparing our transportation network for our needs; we have the lowest taxes on tobacco products – known killers; and we refuse to tighten laws on guns. Is this the leadership for which you wish to be remembered?

Seems to me you have some great opportunities ahead of you. I hope and pray you act on them.

Nol Putnam
Flint Hill

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