Wendy Robinson: Commends column’s tone on mass shootings

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Thursday, October 12, 2017
Commends column’s tone on mass shootings

I commend Dr. Jay Fleitman for his Oct. 10 column on mass shootings (“Must understand public violence”).

I am on the other end of the political spectrum from Dr. Fleitman and don’t generally agree with him. In fact, I have written to the Gazette criticizing his columns.

But this time his tone was very sober and he did not use slanted words or misrepresentations. Instead he wrote in a probing and personal way that encourages the same kind of thinking in his readers. This is very welcome, especially on the issue of gun violence which has become so divisive. Thank you Dr. Fleitman and I hope your future columns will be in the same vein.

Even though they are especially horrifying, and get most of the press coverage, mass shootings are actually a tiny part of the gun violence problem in this country. According to an article published Oct. 5 in The Guardian (“How bad is U.S. gun violence?”), mass shootings constitute only about 500 of the approximately 33,000 gun deaths every year.

Further, something not often highlighted is that around two-thirds of gun deaths are actually suicides. Dr. Fleitman writes about one of these. Do the math — this comes out to about 60 suicides per day, about the same number as died in Las Vegas.

Let’s not forget that after all the speculation about Stephen Paddock’s state of mind has faded, the everyday story goes on under the radar.

Wendy Robinson