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Ironies of "Cease Fire"

Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2001 10:57:53 EDT
Subject: Ironies of "Cease Fire"

Dear Ms. Brodeur:

In your 10/21/01 column, published in the Seattle Times, your first line states:

"The slaying of Tom Wales is replete with ironies."

You listed a number of ironies in your column. However, in my opinion, there is an even more significant irony - that he was president of the anti-gun-violence group Washington Cease Fire.

Why? The name "Cease Fire" implies an action that must be taken by a person. However, the organization is affiliated with the Violence Policy Center, which places the blame on firearms, inanimate objects. Irony? Yes. In and of themselves, firearms are incapable of firing themselves. It takes a person to pull the trigger. The Violence Policy Center, as a suggested strategy, does nothing to suggest how it can convince people to stop pulling triggers. Instead, the VPC strategy is centered around making guns "more safe." (

Yeah, right.

Guns were not conceived and designed for use on paper or other targets used in shooting or skeet ranges. Guns were not conceived and designed to make hunting for food easier. Guns were conceived and designed to be used as tools in war, in essence, to kill, injure, or otherwise incapacitate the enemy. By doing so, the soldier using his firearm(s) does what he can to protect his life and the lives of those with whom he serves.

The Second Amendment to The Constitution of the United States ( A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people, to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. ) implies the same thing. Paper and otherwise inanimate objects are not a threat to the security of a free state, nor are animals. Only people can be a threat to the security of a free state, whether that "free state" is the Union's freedom from would-be conquerors or the citizen's "free state (of mind)," free from being illegally deprived of life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness.

My handy-dandy dictionary, The American Heritage Dictionary (based on the second college edition) defines "irony" as follows:

1. The use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning.
2. Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs.

The Violence Policy Center is the epitome of the second definition.

Steven Langner
Bedford Hts., OH

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