Letter: Many are needed in conversation about gun violence
Published 8:30 pm Friday, May 5, 2023
The well-known quote defining insanity as, “doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome” may aptly describe Rob Anderson’s solution to the mass shootings that have taken the lives of school children and other innocent people in the United States. It seems his answer to the problem is simply and sadly more of the same.
As the author suggested, people can be unpredictable. How can you possibly know when someone may turn violent? Is the author suggesting background checks are useless?
And, when we know the weapon of choice in school mass shootings has been the semi-automatic AR-15 or something similar, do we really need a lecture about automatic versus semi-automatic rifles and the meaning of AR? I imagine lectures such as these are meant to divert our attention from creating a solution to the very real problem of gun violence.
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But, to address the issue of gun violence, one would have to believe that gun violence is actually a problem, as over half of Americans believe, according to a 2021 study. I get the sense from Mr. Anderson’s letter that he does not think a problem exists.
However, if we believe gun violence is a problem and we believe we can’t predict human behavior, where does the solution lie? What is the common denominator — you know the one thing that is present in every case of gun violence? What is the one thing that other countries have successfully regulated that, in turn, dramatically reduced gun violence? Might it be the gun? The one thing that Mr. Anderson does not see as a problem.
While I do not agree with Mr. Anderson’s arguments about gun control — or the lack thereof — I believe that, if we expect to create a long-term solution to mass shootings in the United States, we need people like Mr. Anderson, who clearly understand the mechanics of guns and gun culture, to be a part of the conversation.