The greatest good for the greatest number

January 24, 2013

First, let me not pretend to have mastered the complexities of the gun-control issue in our state or country. I’ve never owned a gun and would likely shoot myself in the foot if I did!

However, logic and common sense would offer the following comments: (1) It is in the nature of even the most rational and compassionate of humans to experience a knee-jerk moment when caught off guard and, with a deadly weapon at hand, reach out before the brain kicks in to say “Stop!”

(2) It is in the nature of children to, if given the opportunity, curiously examine a firearm, especially if they have see grown-ups handling one.

(3) It’s simple math to total the sheer number of deaths caused by a lone attacker with a semi-automatic weapon capable of releasing countless rounds, not to mention the resultant trauma to victims, families, communities and the nation.

I would close by citing the late Rushworth Kidder, founder of the Institute for Global Ethics and author of "How Good People Make Tough Choices."  After devoting a significant portion of his life to research and consulting, Kidder boils down his message to one precept:  “The greatest good for the greatest number.”

Surely we can all agree on the need to act and enact.

Beth Hochholzer

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