GUILFORD — Many gun advocates say, “Guns don't kill; it's people who kill people.” They say that the problem with an epidemic of mass shootings in this country is a mental health issue, and that is not a reason to restrict gun ownership.
If we are being honest with ourselves, as a human being with some flaws that most of us have, at times we make bad decisions. In retrospect, we regret what we did and sometimes beat ourselves up for what we did. We sometimes can recover by offering a sincere apology and changing our behavior going forward. Life goes on and hopefully we learn something that will help us do better.
Guns, especially those that fire multiple shots quickly, can and do result in a devastating destruction of human life. There is no going back once the trigger is pulled. Apologies don't work. Life does go on, but the scars that loved ones suffer alter their lives forever and another child or adult does not get to live out their life.
Most of us would probably not resort to shooting someone, even under duress. But as flawed human beings that we all are, we do not know for sure what would happen if we were pushed to the edge of our tolerance.
This is especially true if we are under the influence of drugs, especially alcohol - 85% of domestic violence incidents occur under the influence of alcohol. Most abusers later claim that that they regret their abusive actions and that the alcohol made them become abusive.
Despite their regrets, repeated behavior is likely. Put a gun in the hands of an abuser or in the hands of someone who feels they've been abused by others or a system, and tragedy occurs.
Yes, mental health issues are a major factor in mass shootings. Our country is falling far short in bringing forth sufficient resources to address this health crisis. Although screening gun purchasers will help, screening and testing systems are flawed.
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Given the flaws that exist in our prevention systems, we need to reduce the danger that guns pose.
One way to reduce this danger is to eliminate guns that fire multiple rounds quickly - certainly not a perfect solution, but a step toward bringing sanity to reducing the tragedies occurring throughout our country.
Rapid-fire guns enable the killing of multiple people quickly so in that sense, guns do indeed kill some people. As citizens, we do not need to own guns capable of firing more than a few rounds without reloading. Having such a law does not eliminate all gun-violent attacks, but it is a step forward in reducing harm.
Many powerful people are behind the manufacturing, sale, and ownership of assault weapons. Such legislation is not likely to occur in the near future because of the money influencing our elected officials.
Our real hope, at least in my lifetime, is for our president to issue an executive order - not an executive action! - to ban assault-type guns.
For a president to do so would take courage in the face of likely court challenges and probably a risk to personal safety. Let's hope that courage and sanity prevail and that we elect a president will have these qualities.