Letter to the Editor: More Than ‘Thoughts and Prayers’ Needed

As the nation commences with another round of thinking and praying in the aftermath of the most recent mass shooting, this one at a school in Florida, the divide between those who are calling for some legislative action to address the issue of rampant gun violence and those who claim that no legislative action is needed has grown ever wider. The two sides aren’t even within shouting distance of each other anymore. The nation’s “Gun Problem,” much like its “Opioid Abuse Problem” and “Drunk Driving Problem,” is cause for lots of hand-wringing and lofty declarations but very little action.

Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House, Wisconsin’s own “policy wonk” Paul Ryan, cautions all sides “not to jump to some conclusion” until we get “the full facts,” while simultaneously declining to support a proposal made by Democratic legislators to create a special committee to study gun violence (my emphasis added). It seems to me that one might have to “study” a subject in order to get those “facts” Mr. Ryan asserts are necessary before any decisions can be made, but I am but a lowly citizen and the Speaker is such an important person that the NRA stuffed his campaign coffers with $171,000 last year, making him one of their most expensive mouth-pieces.

Mr. Ryan has supported, during his tenure as Speaker, seven select committees to “study” the Benghazi attack. He has supported numerous committees sifting through Hillary Clinton’s private email server to “study” her correspondence. Just last year he signed off on two new committees to “study” her nebulous connections to a uranium sale back in 2010. But gun violence? Open an investigation to “study” that subject and you might actually find something that will offend your masters in the gun lobby, right, Mr. Ryan? Much safer to offer those thoughts and prayers…again and again and again.


Mike Orlock

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

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