To the Editor:
I was saddened to read your recent Op-Ed in support of repeal of the SAFE Act, because it seemed to me that it quite clearly missed the point on what this legislation is trying to do and at the same time you seemingly glossed over the problem of gun violence in America today.
The legislation is aimed at Mass Shootings (ones that involves the killing of four or more people in a single place according to the FBI), hence the limit on ammunition. Yes, people are murdered in lots of different ways in America. Even knives kill people. However, I think you would agree that if Adam Lanza had walked into Sandy Hook Elementary school wielding a knife rather than a fully loaded Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle it would not have resulted in the death of 20 children and six of the school’s staff.
No legislation is perfect. Finding the right way to attack this problem from both a criminal and psychological perspective is difficult. I applaud the Governor for at least trying something. What is the response of the gun control lobby? It’s to do nothing, hide behind the Second Amendment, complain about what an imposition it is for hunters, and let these senseless deaths continue on. We hear a lot of complaints from the NRA about background checks and the NRA’s Washington lobbyists quickly quash any hint of legislation that attempts to curtail the deaths of thousands of Americans each year. We never hear any word of a plan to help America deal with this problem from pro-gun groups.
Finally, your editorial blithely skims over the growing list of mass shootings in this country and even refers to Sandy Hook as an “outlier.” Mass shootings happen about once every two weeks in this country, hardly a number that we should scoff at. There have been 146 mass shootings in America since 2006 and over 900 people have lost their lives. Certainly that deserves more mention than a throw away line in your piece. And by the way, even if this problem is, as you suggest, overblown, limiting the number of guns and rounds would surely have an impact broadly on other deaths due to gun violence.
Yes, even with the SAFE Act people will continue to use guns and kill each other and themselves. It’s is not perfect, but certainly an attempt to tackle at least one part of the problem shouldn’t be met with so much derision and resistance.