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Topic: Politics & Policy     Department: Letters

Can't see the forest for the guns

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I'm frankly flabbergasted that, in an era so defined by crises of the environment, energy, and economy, that folks are still voting on useless wedge issues like guns and abortion -- and voting for folks that are hopelessly deficient on the first three but who pander on the last two (HCN, 10/27/08). These issues were made issues by Republicans for the express purpose of creating single-issue voters who will cheerfully forget any other problem that affects their quality of life simply to vote for an issue of very little real importance that they have been browbeaten and cajoled into caring deeply about. In that sense, I agree with the writer; it makes sense for the Democrats to de-emphasize these non-issues to pull the fangs of the Republicans who depend on them utterly.

All of that said, Obama and Biden are not going to be taking anybody's guns away. I guarantee it. Regardless of their personal positions on the matter, they're going to be too busy attending to stuff that actually matters -- the economy, energy crises -- to bother themselves with an issue that's only raised in times of relative prosperity and peace. Don't gamble on our ability to face those real crises because of your carefully stoked fears about your "single issue" -- a single issue that is so low on the priority list that the next president will never touch it.

William C. Lawton

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