Mr. Fred Stillwell’s recent letter in which he attempts to create a false equivalence between a mass shooting and other deaths due to drugs or motor vehicle accidents certainly deserves a response.
There is absolutely no comparison to be made between a senseless act of violence and the unfortunate deaths due to the use — and sometimes misuse — of necessary, beneficial and essential elements such as medicine and transportation.
I am not anti-gun and have at one time possessed a concealed carry permit. I do not advocate the banning of all guns as in Great Britain, even if the data show that it works in reducing gun violence, but I think it is obvious that some control is needed.
We have many, many more laws and regulations concerning the purchasing, licensing, safety and use of drugs and automobiles than we have for firearms.
In particular, why are assault rifles prolific in America? They were developed for the military as a weapon to kill people, the enemy. I am not a hunter but I read that the AR-15 is not normally the preferred rifle used to shoot defenseless animals. It is, however, the preferred rifle used to shoot defenseless children.
So what do I propose? In addition to the much talked about expansion of background checks, age limits and mental health issues — a rather fuzzy term — I suggest targeting assault rifles.
First, as we have done previously, ban their sale to inhibit any increase in their numbers. Second, set up and fund a nationwide buyback program no questions asked, as some police departments have done with firearms in the past. Finally, make them illegal to possess. After all, we have done this with hand grenades. Why not assault rifles?