Gun control has been the topic of several recent letters and columns in The Advocate. Columnist Richard Cohen wrote (Dec. 8) that he blamed the National Rifle Association and Wayne LaPierre, its executive vice president, for the terrorist massacres in San Bernadino, Fort Hood and elsewhere: “Bodies everywhere. You did this, LaPierre. You and your NRA.” Really, I have been an NRA member for about 60 years and have associated with many others who share a common interest in marksmanship, hunting, gun collecting, gun safety and self-defense.

To a man and woman, I have found them to be outstanding, law-abiding citizens and patriots. Many serve, or have served, our country in the military or in law enforcement.

Cohen characterized the San Bernadino terrorist massacre as “Two otherwise ordinary citizens, dressed as soldiers, went to war.” In the face of terrorist activity in our country where defenseless citizens are slaughtered, he believes that “the solution to the menace of domestic terrorism is staring us in the face. It is some sort of gun control.” Ordinary citizens? Gun control as the solution? Really?

The first 10 amendments of the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, confer individual rights, not governmental power. The United States does not have a “gun culture.” We have a “freedom culture.” I am sure that Cohen would fiercely defend his First Amendment right of freedom of the press to justify writing his opinions, while, at the same time, he seeks to deny others their Second Amendment right to gun ownership and self-defense.

Cohen admonishes LaPierre, “Open the door, Wayne. See what you have done. See the bodies.” Well, I looked into Cohen’s career as a Washington Post columnist and found that he has been accused of racism and advocated suicide, ethnic cleansing and abortion. I say, “Open the door, Richard. You see what you and your ilk have done. You see the bodies.”

William J. Connick Jr.

research chemist, retired