Regarding “Texas maker of ‘bump stocks’ halts new sales” (Page A1, Friday), politicians are falling all over themselves to see who can be the first to the microphone to propose a ban on the socalled bump stock.
We had mass shootings before bump stocks and, in all likelihood, will continue to have them even if bump stocks are made illegal.
Why? Because as usual, we are not dealing with the root cause of these heinous crimes. Rather than focus on the mental illness that would lead someone to commit such a crime, politicians focus on a far easier target — the tool that was used. That’s like blaming the hammer if you hit your thumb.
The bump stock is the perfect target. Liberals can claim they are enacting gun control and conservatives can say they are taking reasonable steps that won’t alienate gun owners.
But the real question should be, is there any way to predict or control this kind of violent behavior?
Barry Boswell, Houston
Regarding the NRA’s meaningless stance Thursday in saying that “bump stocks” that helped the Las Vegas shooter turn semiautomatic weapons into fully automatic weapons should now be “subject to additional regulations” is decades late and millions of political dollars short.
Don’t fool yourself. The National Rifle Association will never change. Their statement rings hollow — and hypocritical.
Michael Lonsford, Houston
I have three ideas for reducing gun deaths.
First, mandatory jail terms for any crime committed with a gun, perhaps five years for the first offense and 20 years for the second one. That should get many dangerous criminals off the streets and make it less attractive for kids to start a life of crime.
Second, eliminate all news coverage about the perpetrators of these mass shootings. No interviews of family and friends, no high school photos, just keep them entirely anonymous.
The news media already does this for rape victims and could do it for mass killers. This will reduce the celebrity of the crime and not give these people the instant path to infamy that seems to appeal to some of them.
Third, legalize assisted suicide. Some portion of gun deaths are suicides and a more humane approach to this problem would help.
None of these ideas require any changes to the Constitution, and they should not be politically unacceptable to most people. And they might work.
Dave Dyer, Houston
A “bump stock” device fits on a semi-automatic rifle to make it fire like a fully automatic weapon.