Letters to the Editor

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SHOOTING: People control, not gun control

Letter by Steve A. Coffman, Olympia on Dec. 17, 2012 at 2:14 pm with No Comments »
December 17, 2012 3:34 pm

Much is being said about “common-sense” gun laws or demanding certain types of firearms be banned based on largely cosmetic features, or some arbitrary number of rounds that can be held in their magazine.

Let’s talk about common-sense people control instead. Ted Nugent has been quoted as saying, “If guns cause crime, then all mine are defective.” Mine must be, too, and about 300 million other lawfully held firearms in this nation.

You know what does cause crime? People? You know who go on mass killing sprees? People. You know what almost always comes to light? Untreated mental illness.

Why is it when someone who was long suspected to be or known to be a danger to themselves and others go on a killing rampage, the first thing to be blamed is the tool used, as opposed to the question of why that person was even in a position to cause that sort of harm in the first place?

Once upon a time, the dangerously mentally ill were institutionalized and given around-the-clock care and treatment. Now, many of them huddle on our streets, or live as adult children with their parents or other caregivers, flitting in and out of treatment and brushes with the law. And sometimes they snap, kill people, steal legally held weapons and go off to commit mass murder.

Gun control isn’t needed. Comprehensive mental health treatment is needed.

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