Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Tragedy unfolds in our country from the barrel of a gun every single day. One that will live in our hearts until infinity happened just before Christmas a th Sandy Hook Elementary School.

At first, outcry flooded our landscape. The tide was powerful. President Obama cried on television. Talking heads couldn’t stop shaking their skulls spewing passion about how the violence must stop. The president and others have asked us to write our representatives in support of the new bill that Senator Diane Feinstein has introduced. The NRA president has suggested we put armed guards in every school. He conveniently forgets Columbine, where there was an armed guard.

Senator Feinstein’s bill (S 150) regulates all semi-automatic weapons in the hands of civilians, requires universal background checks (no exceptions) and bans magazines with more than 10 rounds. The bill is supported by an impressive list of police chiefs, cities, mayors and others. Yet there are both Republicans and Democrats who believe they can go against public opinion which supports stricter gun regulation and try to gut the provisions of this bill. Never mind. Never mind that these legislators do not honor the dead who are the result of massive gun violence in our culture. Not their problem.

According to govtrak.us, this bill stands a 10 per cent chance of getting out of committee qnd a one per cent chance of passing and becoming law. Let’s increase those odds. Write your representative? Okay. But I believe that in order for us to really be heard we must speak as one community.

Why not petition our government to support Senator Feinstein’s bill. Why not bring up this issue in our towns and vote on a nonbinding resolution to support the bill. Who knows, maybe the seed we plant with this resolution will soar across our land with all the passion and love that we have for our children. Maybe our voices will finally be heard. Worth a try. We have nothing to lose but our fear. During times of disaster we look to our government for help.

Today our government needs our help.

Jack Schimmelman, Edgartown