[Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the LPP in February 2013.]
In the wake of Newtown, Connecticut’s recent mass shooting, it seems that everybody has something to say about what to do with guns in America. These opinions come from extremes on both sides of the spectrum, but true novelty can be found in those who are centrist and well-informed. Stop Handgun Violence founder John Rosenthal offered such valuable viewpoints during a stimulating talk in Lesley’s Amphitheater on February 5th, leaving the audience with plenty to think about in regards to America’s gun policy.
Rosenthal, a driving force behind the infamous “Stop Handgun Violence” billboard behind Fenway Park, initially focused his talk on the breadth of U.S. statistics for firearm violence. “America loses eight children every day to firearms…that’s a classroom every three days.”
He then proposed the solution to gun violence in the U.S. is not a complete ban on firearms. Instead strict gun laws, including child safety locks and background checks for buyers, are the way to combat this complex issue. In regards to the Government’s firearms industry regulations, Rosenthal stated “There is no rational thought around this, it is 100% greed run amuck.”
When asked by an audience member about the roles that mental illness and exposure to violent media play in America’s ongoing gun epidemic, Rosenthal replied “We have always had mental illness and evil people. We just never armed them. The common denominator in all shootings is the firearm.” He went on to add that we need to “get involved in our democracy” in order to combat the injustices that are fueling this crisis.
“We don’t have the gene to bury our children and ever be the same.”
John Rosenthal’s conversation with Lesley was emotional as it was educational. He concluded with steps to actively get involved with his cause, then opened the floor to a question-and-answer segment facilitated by President Joseph Moore.
For those interested in getting involved with Stop Handgun Violence, visit: