To the Editor:
Our society is beset by two major problems: opioid abuse and gun violence. The first is self-inflicted; the second is inflicted on us by others. Both cause physical harm and death to our young people.
Statistics show that in the year 2017, 72,000 people died due to opioid abuse. By comparison, that same year less than 40,000 died due to gun violence.
Both statistics present a bleak picture of our society and show our decadence and lack of moral and social values.
Yet, today we don’t hear much about opioid abuse. We quietly brush aside the statistics and never do anything to improve our mental health. Opioid abuse becomes a silent crime.
Gun control is another story. The crime occurs in plain view. A number of people are killed in one spot by a deranged individual. Everyone is horrified. We are outraged by this outburst of uncivil behavior. We have a knee jerk reaction: Let’s forbid the sale of guns. Revoke the Second Amendment.
Guns don’t kill. Only deranged people kill other people. If we don’t want gun violence, we must first change ourselves.
We should work to improve our mental health and create anew our family life. As we know, the family is the main pillar of our society.
We need emotional strength to surmount the many problems placed in our way. The family could provide that strength. We want to be loving people, not vindictive.
Our representatives in Congress should enact laws that would curtail the use of some guns and stop the indiscriminate use of all kinds of opioids. Only special doctors should be allowed to prescribe and supervise the use of opioids. Emotional counseling should also be a must objective.
Rocco M. Calabrese