Letter: What is your role in ending mass shootings?

Letter: What is your role in ending mass shootings?

The Westerly Sun


In the editorial “End the right to kill innocents” in the Westerly Sun on Wednesday, Oct. 4, the focus is mostly misplaced, as it attempts to assign blame where none exists, it provides inflammatory rhetoric that only tends to confuse, to further divide people, and irresponsibly fogs the real issue, which is clearly mental illness!

The common thread in these horrible mass killings is, without exception, mental illness. Going back in time to 1981, when John Hinckley attempted to assassinate President Reagan, then on to Columbine, to Virginia Tech, to the Colorado theater, to Newtown, to Las Vegas (and several others in between), in each and every instance, it was later proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the shooters were suffering with serious mental illness. Those related to the shooters, fellow workers, fellow students, law enforcement, academic leaders, etc., all knew of quirky and threatening behavior, and in several instances knew of threats of violence, but apparently all were helpless to do anything until it was too late.

All Americans are understandably shocked and horrified by these senseless tragedies, but just beneath the surface there exists a seething rage against feckless politicians, and some irresponsible journalists, who absolutely refuse to deal with the incontrovertible facts, and to champion corrective measures (laws) in order to address the matter responsibly.

FBI statistics, and each of the aforementioned cases, are available for all to see, and to read, in order to further one’s understanding of what has been happening. Serious people will take it a step further, and read the brilliant Dr. Charles Krauthammer, who has written extensively on the subject of the criminally insane. Krauthammer is not only a famous author and a TV personality, he is a psychiatrist. He has written about laws that the United States had on the books until the early 1970s, how they worked, and why we need to re-institute similar measures today if we are to have any chance of stopping tomorrow’s slaughter.

In closing, these recurring tragedies are not about guns. Guns are an inanimate object; these tragedies are all about people. Sadly, those having the power and the authority to effect change continue to fail! The responsible question is, why do they continue to fail? Well, Daniel Henninger authored a piece in the Wall Street Journal that addresses the matter. It reads in part: “The NRA and pro-gun sentiment doesn’t defeat them (meaning Democrats). What defeats them is that their compulsive moral condescension impedes their ability to see the country clearly.”

Lastly, these “bump-stocks” that Stephen Paddock used to make his rifles fully automatic, were (startlingly) approved by the ATF, even though fully automatic weapons were outlawed in the U.S. in 1936! The Democrats controlled the executive (President Obama), and both houses of Congress when the ATF acted. The bump stock hardware became available to the public in the 2013-14 time frame, possibly earlier. Those who care and are sincere about the matter may want to pose a question or two to their senators and representatives as to how this ATF approval was allowed to happen. Additionally, you may want to ask what exactly Vice President Joe Biden accomplished after he was named czar of all gun-related matters in December 2012 (after Newtown) by President Obama. My research has found nothing of substance!

The only way to effectively to deal with the known problem is to find serious, intelligent and committed people whose recommendations will be taken responsibly by our government. Demagoguery, inane demands and wild accusations buy us nothing. When the next tragedy occurs, ask yourself, what did I do to help solve this ongoing nightmare?



Mike Latham

Pawcatuck


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