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A country with 300 million guns produces mass shootings – and we’re surprised?

A country with 300 million guns produces mass shootings – and we’re surprised?
October 13
14:27 2017

To the editor: The whole country is wondering why Stephen Paddock committed mass murder in Las Vegas. Is it really that difficult to understand? (“Of course we need to talk about gun violence in America. The question is how to do it effectively,” Opinion, Oct. 6)

We live in a consumerist society in which we are constantly urged to buy products. These products are meant to be used — chairs are sat on, shoes are worn, and caches of semi-automatic weapons are used in mass shootings. What is the mystery here?

The real question is not why did Paddock commit mass murder, but when might others who have bought these weapons also kill?

Our violent culture has also produced Donald Trump, who is reported to have asked privately during the campaign why the United States does not use the nuclear weapons it has. Products are supposed to be used, so we are in deep trouble.

To the editor: Law professor Adam Winkler does an excellent job capsulizing the role of guns in our society. Unfortunately, he seems to imply that there is not much Americans can do about gun violence.

The following legal steps can be made to reduce the number of gun victims — 100,000 annually, both fatal and nonfatal — in the United States.

Second, pass a federal law banning guns. Owning a firearm should be a felony for civilians who are not authorized to have one.

Third, enforce the new law by hiring federal employees, as we do for the U.S. census, to visit households and confiscate the 300 million-plus firearms in nonmilitary circulation.

All this may seem to be an unrealistic, massive undertaking. But it must happen if we are to become a nation that values human life more than guns.

 

To the editor: How about “extreme vetting” for anyone who wants to buy a gun or ammunition? This could include psychological testing and interviews with friends and family along with a criminal background check.

There is no difference between a foreigner who wants to enter the country to commit a terrorist act and a citizen who wants to buy the tools needed to commit a terrorist act.

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