On gun con­trol and school shoot­ings

The Dundalk Eagle - - BY THE PEOPLE - Bruce A. Ruth Jes­sup

Con­cern­ing Mr. Bruf­fey [“Re­stric­tive gun poli­cies and the rise of mass shoot­ings,” Dun­dalk Ea­gle, May 1, 2018], I se­ri­ously doubt that ei­ther God or tak­ing prayers out of school has ab­so­lutely any­thing to do with the school shoot­ings. To even try to sug­gest that schools have made them­selves a tar­get is rep­re­hen­si­ble. You seem to blame at least part of the gun prob­lem on guns be­ing ta­boo. Are you say­ing that if guns weren’t “ta­boo” we wouldn’t have the prob­lem we have now? Many things in our so­ci­ety are ta­boo for very good rea­sons. If peo­ple did not wear clothes would there be fewer sex crimes? I se­ri­ously doubt it. Nu­dity in our so­ci­ety is, as you would say, ta­boo. There is too long a list to put down in this let­ter, so I use the ab­surd ex­treme to make my point.

You also seem to be head­ing for the old N.R.A. mantra, “Guns don’t kill peo­ple; peo­ple kill peo­ple.” That is ab­so­lutely cor­rect. It’s just that au­to­matic and semi-au­to­matic weapons with large mag­a­zines al­low you to do it much more ef­fi­ciently.

Do we re­ally think that by ban­ning weapons that are only used for war that our sec­ond amend­ment rights will be nul­li­fied? Are any one of us re­ally that sim­ple-minded?

We will still have our tens of mil­lions of ri­fles and hand­guns. We will still “be safe.” I have yet to hear of any­one us­ing an AR-15 to pro­tect their house.

And fi­nally, where in the world did you grow up? I’m 63 and grew up in Dun­dalk, and I have never met any­one from ANY gen­er­a­tion that kept guns in their school lock­ers for their marks­man­ship classes.

As far as ad­dress­ing men­tal ill­ness goes, the vast ma­jor­ity of mass shoot­ers (ex­cept for the kid in Florida who fell through the cracks) are only dis­cov­ered to be nuts after the fact. If it were sug­gested that you have to pass a psy­cho­log­i­cal exam be­fore you buy a gun, I have lit­tle doubt that the N.R.A. would not go along with it.

And if they did, and you pass all of the tests, who’s to say that you might lose it later on, or one of your chil­dren who hasn’t been eval­u­ated, but has ac­cess to your weapons?

Get­ting rid of or ban­ning weapons of war will not end the mass shoot­ings that we have learned to live with, but it will cut down on the num­ber of chil­dren get­ting mur­dered.

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