What to do about gun violence

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Las Vegas shooting memorial
People gather at a makeshift memorial Oct. 4 for victims of a mass shooting along the Las Vegas Strip. (CNS/Reuters/Chris Wattie)

On Sunday, Oct. 1, a lone shooter killed 58 people in Las Vegas, firing into a crowd at a country music concert. There was a flurry of responses immediately after the shooting concerning possible new gun safety regulations. Even a few Republicans seemed willing to consider some minimal change. Now, two weeks later, there is mostly silence. It is a scenario that has been repeated too many times to count.

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I would just like to ask a few questions:

Why is it not the right time to discuss this issue right after an incident occurs?

This is actually one question I can answer. If we don't talk about the problem with guns right away, people will forget about it and we won't have to confront the issue. We are already seeing that point of view coming to fruition.

Just a few more questions:

Why is the issue always blamed on mental illness even when there is no sign of mental illness?

Isn't it strange that many legislators who are so concerned about the mental health issue are also voting to cut funding for mental health services?

If mental health is such a major issue, wouldn't it seem like additional funds should be appropriated for that purpose?

Would the entire response to this shooting have been different if a Muslim, undocumented immigrant, or non-Caucasian had been the shooter? If so, how would it have been different and why? I suspect volumes could be written on that topic.

How is it possible that in this country we must be resigned to the notion that nothing can be done to make things better?

Does it really make sense to say that because we cannot reduce gun violence to zero we should do nothing to reduce it by 20 percent, 40 percent or 60 percent?

Why does no other industrialized country in the world have the same level of gun violence that we have here?

Why is the Second Amendment the only amendment that can admit of no restrictions? Maybe I should be able to yell fire in a crowded theater to protect all my rights.

Finally: How many deaths will it take — Is there any point at which the powers that be will say enough is enough, we must do something to reduce the level of gun violence in our country?


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