To the editor: In recent weeks, mass shootings and related arrests across the U.S. have made a comeback.
Maybe it’s a very sick sign that our COVID recovery is underway. The carnage begs the usual question: “Does this mean there is a need for gun control?”
Pro-gun activists say the “rare” mentally ill are to blame for the shootings. Opponents say the shootings reveal toxic behavior unrelated to mental illness and are demanding full gun control reform.
Pro-gun folks cling onto the Second Amendment for dear life. Gun owners are worried and panicky about losing their guns just because of the shootings. People won't lose their overall firearm rights if most high-powered semiautomatic or automatic and military assault-style guns are banned. Hunting, personal protection and target-shooting doesn’t require such weapons.
Mental illness is the wrong idea since racism, religion, hatred and past violence are the real blame for the shootings.
It doesn't matter how much time is spent on studying to find out the blame. If there is full gun reform, it needs to be done now. This shouldn't be a political war, since the safety of America is again at stake.
A key roadblock is the ease of access to any gun legally on the market. It doesn't matter which gun is involved in criminal activity, a shooting is a shooting. Are there loopholes which needs to be addressed and plugged? How about a carefully designed examination to determine the stability of a purchaser? A check of prior social media postings?
Regardless of where and when the shooters came from, guns aren't the answer. Guns don't save people, brains do. People say guns are used for protection. But does that give them the right to commit a crime against other people and claim self-defense?
Will gun reform solve the problem? How would it affect gun owners? Will they really lose their guns and gun rights? These are questions many people demand answers to before going forward to a fair gun reform law. But at the same time, we cannot wait too long.
BJ Steigner, New York, N.Y.
The writer is a former of Clarksburg, Mass., resident