Letts: Will American Leaders Have the Courage and Backbone to Do What Needs to Be Done?


I remember all too well watching on a Tuesday morning as live news reports came streaming into the living room. Vivid images of terror and catastrophe were being broadcast on Sept. 11, 2001, from New York City.

Knowing that emergency and security workers, chaplains and many others would be an essential part of a massive coordinated national response, we rose to the challenge. A spirit of patriotism, pride and brotherhood permeated the air. Just as Americans did in the days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, we vowed to prevail in righteous might, so help us, God!

Once again, on a Tuesday, New York’s citizens came under attack. A gunman detonated smoke bombs inside a subway car and opened fire. Twenty-nine victims were taken to the hospital.

The suspected shooter was arrested on Wednesday. Some of the most critical elements of the attack indicate that it was thought out, well planned and not haphazardly executed. This brings a different perspective to this tragedy.

Mass shootings happen all too often across America today, from Democrat-led cities to rural communities. Just days ago in Sacramento, California, several people were killed and injured in an automatic machine gun battle for turf in a gang war.

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The outrage and political rhetoric from bureaucrats and elected officials unfortunately accomplish the usual — nothing! Politicians rush to be the first in line to call for more gun control, but that’s not the solution.

Machine guns are some of the most regulated weapons in the country, yet are too frequently the weapons of choice of drug cartels and other criminal elements. Simply assuming a law will remove stolen handguns from the streets is just asinine. So is ignoring the real threat that is individuals who are not held accountable for their actions.

But by far, the most insane attempt of the last 20 years to decrease crime was the short-lived Defund the Police movement. It fizzled as quickly as it began when communities saw a 39 percent upsurge in violent crime. Yet we’re still suffering the aftermath of that anti-American movement as we attempt to bolster police staffing and infrastructure.

We need a definitive plan to restore peace in all corners of America — urban and rural. It just requires the courage and backbone to put it into action and see it through to its successful conclusion.

Will tighter gun control decrease violent crime?

As a police officer, firefighter, a 9/11 early responder and a police chaplain, here’s my simple four-step plan to restore justice to America:

1.) Establish a national database of all elected judicial officials (judges, prosecutors, district attorneys, sheriffs, etc.) with full disclosure of all financial contributions (including in-kind) and the prosecutorial guidelines being promoted and accepted by those officials (including early release orders).

2.) Provide full funding, training, equipment and other necessary support for law enforcement agencies.

3.) Launch programs for the recruitment of future generations of first responders.

4.) Support and fund suicide prevention and PTSD programs.

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As it did on Sept. 11, 2001, the time has come for America to rise to the challenge with a spirit of patriotism, pride and brotherhood and address this national security dilemma.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.



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