I was raised in Mississippi as a WASP, where I killed my first deer in 1960 at age 8. I drive a white F-150 pickup truck and own nine guns, including a semi-automatic rifle. So I pretty much fit the ideal demographic for the NRA.

Two of our three children moved out of state, including a liberal daughter who lives in Philly with her husband, a university professor, and our 3-year-old granddaughter, Lucinda. Now from those facts, let’s make some suppositions. I am a member of the NRA and have staunchly defended Americans’ Second Amendment right to bear arms, including assault weapons with high-capacity magazines. My daughter and I have had heated arguments over this.

She has pointed out that people in America are 25 times more likely to die of gun deaths than in any other first world country. That the Second Amendment applies to a well-regulated militia, not to every individual. I respond that the U.S. Supreme Court said otherwise in 2008. Guns don’t kill people; people do, etc. etc.

Imagine that one day, a lonely white male enters Lucinda’s day care and, using an assault rifle with multiple clips, slaughters dozens of innocent teachers and children, including Lucinda. Or the shooter goes to the university nearby where my son-in-law is one of the victims. So now what do I think about gun rights? Now what do I say to my daughter? Will she hold me partially responsible? Will I not be? Would I not say to her and mean it to the depths of my soul that I would give anything to have Lucinda back — all my nine guns; all my rights to buy more guns; all anyone else’s rights to any guns? That I would now be in favor of anything that could have possibly prevented that from happening, including a national buyback of all assault weapons, etc.? That scenario is just a supposition for me; for now.

But every week, it becomes a reality for more and more families in America. Some of the staunchest advocates of gun control are the survivors of the mass shootings. For those of you who continue to insist on little or no gun control, what’s it going to take for you to have a different perspective? If you have a child or grandchild, sit them down sometime and try to explain to them why your rights are more important than their life. And if you can’t do that, then add your voice to those of us calling for stricter gun control. And if you are a member of the NRA, know that no one’s voice is more important for effecting change; and no one’s silence is more responsible for the continuing slaughter of the innocents, than is yours.

David Treppendahl

real estate developer

St. Francisville