To the editor,
The events that took place in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio are horrific and those who are in custody should face the full force of the law. In addition, every asset should be made available to the victims and their families to assist with their emotional, spiritual, and physical healing.
Unfortunately, as is often the case after unspeakable tragedies, many well-meaning legislators push legislation that is nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction based on emotion than on fact. Some voices out of Washington, DC are engaging in over-the-top rhetoric accompanied by calls for gun-control legislation that will not prevent a single future mass shooting.
Virginia Tech shooter Cho-Seung Hui bought his guns legally; the Columbine killers simply had a female friend legally buy their weapons and give them to the killers; Adam Lanza simply took his mother's legally purchased firearms to shoot up Sandy Hook Elementary; and finally the Parkland School shooter (Nikolas Cruz) not only purchased his weapon legally but he also passed a background check!
The city of London offers another real world example of the failures of onerous gun-control legislation on a grand-scale. London has a higher murder rate than NYC and a similar size population. London has some of the strictest gun laws on earth and it hasn't stemmed the flow of violence. In fact, the United Kingdom is now debating how best to implement "knife control" with some public figures going so far as to ask parents to "count their cutlery daily." Finally, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report there are more murders in the United States committed with knives than rifles and shotguns; therefore shouldn't those espousing strict gun control measures be focused on knives?
We need to enact comprehensive legislation if we ever want to solve this problem. That must include identifying potential perpetrators before they act, providing greater access to mental health services for those who might be potential perpetrators, the role of video-games on our young people need to be investigated and addressed, and funding for greater use of school-resource officers on our school campuses needs to take place. Knee-jerk reactions based on emotion won't prevent another tragic mass shooting but comprehensive, holistic legislation will go a long way to making American society safer.