Brad Brown: A callous call on guns in Solano County
Vallejo Times-Herald, Letters, December 9, 2021
In a tone-deaf action just one day after a 15-year-old boy in Michigan reportedly shot and killed four of his schoolmates, the Solano County Fairgrounds Board of Directors voted on Dec. 1 to allow a gun show to be held at the fairgrounds Dec. 4-5.
This unfortunate decision by a handful of our community leaders was a callous show of disrespect to the murder victims and an act of irresponsibility toward our community. We desperately need public servants who are going to do their utmost to protect our citizens, not turn a blind eye to the source of so much death, pain and grief in our world.
Director Jeff Moorhead apparently justified his yes vote by recounting how watching “animals loot a Walmart” two years ago changed him as a person. Apparently, the slaughter of 23 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, in 2019 didn’t affect Mr. Moorhead’s attitude toward people or guns.
Board member Valerie Williams, who opposed the gun show, pointed out that 27 people were killed in Vallejo last year — all of them by firearms. UC Davis has reported that there were 39,707 deaths from firearms in the United States in 2019. The report also said that the estimated annual cost of gun injury in 2012 exceeded $229 billion — about 1.4% of gross domestic product. (health.ucdavis.edu/what-you-can-do/facts.html)
Mr. Moorhead called for “gun safety” to be taught in our schools. Some of the most horrific mass killings in our country have happened in schools: Columbine, Colo., Newtown, Conn., Parkland, Fla., and now Oxford, Mich. Why on earth would someone advocate bringing guns into our children’s classrooms? Our students need to improve their academic skills, not their ability to handle firearms.
Mr. Moorhead also leaned into that old, tired cliche that “guns don’t shoot people, people shoot people.” No, Mr. Moorhead, people with guns shoot people, and if fewer people had guns, fewer people would be killed and maimed by them.
We are in the midst of a long gun-violence epidemic in this country, and our leaders must help to contain, not contribute, to it. Guns are a fact of life and death in our society and they aren’t going anywhere. But courageous public servants must stand up against the unbridled promotion of weapons that are doing so much harm to our people, economy and the soul of our nation.
— Brad Brown/Vallejo