With the horrific shooting in South Carolina comes the predictable push for gun control of some sort — do something even if it is wrong. The discussions on both sides have been heard before and it is unlikely further discussions will change any minds or cause anyone to switch sides. The justifications for or against gun control range from one ridiculous extreme to the other: “If guns killed people, no one would get out of a gun show alive.” Or, “If guns were banned, there would be no more mass murders.”

I have read that the majority of Americans now favor some sort of sensible gun control legislation. I have no idea if that is correct but I am quite sure that almost all Americans on both sides of the issue would like to see the senseless murders stop. If both of these statements are correct, why isn’t there progress on the issue?

My personal opinion is that the lack of progress has nothing to do with the need for gun control, the types of guns that should be allowed in responsible hands, or which hands are responsible enough to hold the guns. I believe the lack of movement on this issue stems from a public mistrust of government.

How many law-abiding gun owners feel comfortable with the government defining “sensible?”

With the history of so many in government dedicated to eliminating gun ownership, how many law-abiding gun owners trust the government to stop once one “sensible” law is enacted? With a history of reaction to public opinion or emotion from every crisis, how can the government be trusted to do what is best for the greater good of the law-abiding, tax-paying citizen? Is that concept even in consideration any more?

Regardless of what we hear from any one individual, the result from Congress these days is basically mob rule. There is an old saying: “Your actions speak so loudly I can’t hear a thing you are saying.” I suggest that if we had a majority of elected officials who behaved in a manner that indicated they were trustworthy, honest, and courageous, this issue and many others could be easily and satisfactorily resolved. As long as we have a Congress with a 10 percent approval rating and a 90 percent re-election rate, we will continue to have the problems and we will continue to have to deal with the classic definition of insanity – doing the same thing and expecting different results.

Bo Bienvenu

retired manager