Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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History shows gun-control laws don’t work

To the editor:

Recent mass shootings seem to have at least three things in common: a gun, a mentally disturbed individual and a gun-free zone. The blame is being unfairly placed on an inanimate object that can only reflect the will of the person behind it. The many letters and this publication’s editor believe more laws restricting guns are the solution. Connecticut has had the laws in place that are being proposed, including an “assault weapons” ban (a gun that looks like a military weapon but doesn’t operate like one), and they failed tragically.

We as a society have adopted a willingness to ignore or excuse bad behavior, like a parent with an unruly child or a dog owner who says “Fluffy loves people” while it tries to sink its teeth into you.

The Gazette’s editorial noted the mentally ill commit a small number of violent acts, but all the shootings have been perpetrated by a shooter exhibiting prior disturbing behavior that others ignored, or noticed as potentially dangerous but said nothing. It’s time to consider more diligently the mental health aspect of gun violence.

“Gun-free zones” in a college, mall, theater or school seem to act as killing fields in which an active shooter finds no resistance or interference.

Gun laws have been getting more numerous and restrictive since the Kennedy assassination in 1963, but with over 20,000 gun laws already on the books does it seem reasonable to expect more of the same will have different results? Gun laws are rarely used to charge violent criminals; instead they are used as leverage to get them to plea bargain to lesser charges. If you want to know how well gun control works look at “gun-free” Chicago, one of the most gun-violent cities in America. If gun-control laws worked they would have worked by now.

William Aherin

Southampton

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