To the editor:

At the bottom of the KDH front page on Dec. 25 there is a report, “Passenger from Saturday night’s fatal accident also has died” by KDH staff writer Thaddeus Imerman.

The driver of the car (2015 Hyundai Elantra), Patrick Lee Stephens was pronounced dead on Saturday night. The passenger was transported to a local hospital but did not recover and was pronounced dead on Dec. 23.

The accident is reported as follows: Around 11:10 p.m. Saturday, Stephens was attempting to make a left turn onto southbound State Highway 195 from Chaparral Road when a 2020 Nissan Armada ran the red light and hit the Hyundai.”

On the same newspaper’s Opinion page, “Congress investing in gun violence prevention research” by the New York Daily News. The third paragraph begins, “Tucked in with lots of other provisions in the $1.4 trillion federal spending bill is $25 million for research of firearms on health. The money, half for the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and half the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will let the expert scientists delve deep into the root cause of the bloodshed by firearm; their solutions will point the way to policy solutions.”

Personally, I do not see firearms as a health issue at all, and certainly not within the purview of CDC and NIH.

If a firearm, a 2010 AR-15 for example, is contributing to gun-violence, then the 2020 Nissan Armada in this article must be contributing to car-violence.

To be fair, the 2020 Armada should be given the same scrutiny by the CDC and NIH in order to allow expert scientists delve deep into the root cause of the bloodshed by car; their solutions will point the way to policy solutions.

We could fund this equally with gun violence for $25 million, burdening the American taxpayer with a grand total of $50 million to prove that neither the AR-15 or the Armada are inherently violent.

They are inanimate objects created and controlled by humans. Neither the AR-15 nor the Armada wounds or kills on its own volition.

So, would not our $50 million be better used to determine why someone leaves a firearm accessible to a child or why someone runs a red light?

However, these do not seem to fall under the purview of the CDC or NIH either! How do you teach personal responsibility or predict human behavior?

There is an old book that addresses personal responsibility and behavior. It says to love your neighbor as yourself. I believe that is a good start toward ending violence of all kinds. It is free of charge!

The $50 million saved could go towards curing cancer or Alzheimer disease, feed the starving, or solving homelessness. A much better value for our tax dollars than another government research project.

The use of the CDC and NIH is just another wrongheaded way toward obscuring our 2nd Amendment rights and confiscating our guns.

George Van Riper

Harker Heights

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