Letters to the editor - Thursday (12-272012)

  • Posted: Thursday, December 27, 2012 12:01 a.m.

Take a closer look at gun violence and supposed solutions

Some random thoughts on guns:
Making guns illegal will reduce violence. Just like prohibition reduced alcoholism.

For 10 years we had a ban on “assault rifles” and large capacity magazines. Law enforcement agencies said it had no effect. We should do it again though, because it is simplistic and will make us feel good for having “done something.”

Should we have more gun “buy backs?” In prior programs people sold mostly discarded junk. Decent quality guns are worth from several hundred to more than $1,000. Few people seemed willing to sell them for the $50 or so offered.

More people will support gun restrictions as soon as the lines have receded and they have had the opportunity to buy their own guns and an ample supply of ammo.

The Washington bureaucracy can’t put armed guns in schools because it will cost too much and school safety is a local responsibility. Wow! Liberals saying anything costs too much or need not be run by the federal government is a startling comment itself.

How about guards in some schools some of the time? Publish the fact. Let the dingbats try to figure out which days, at what schools. Would that slow them down a little more than telling them that schools are “gun free?”

If you are a sociopathic sub-human seeking personal recognition with a gun, you can depend on the newspapers and TV programs to make you the absolute center of attention for days on end. Your picture everywhere. Interviews with everyone who ever knew you. What more could you ask for?

Guns do not think and lack moral values. Can the same be said about these “news” people who are major contributors to tragedy?

— Joe Roberts
What research may tell us

The Newtown incident of violence — like those in Aurora, Tucson, and Virginia Tech — has brought out the gun-control advocates. But is gun control the answer or must we look to other areas? There has been little discussion of the mental health issues and the environment surrounding the perpetrators of these massacres. The sheer nature of these violent attacks makes it evident that there is a mental health component in any attempt at mass killing.

We have data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the federal assault weapons ban that was in effect from Sept. 13, 1994, until Sept. 13, 2004. The data indicates that bans and gun control laws have little or no impact in decreasing violent gun crimes.

Based on that, we should now be looking at other areas for the reason behind the violent episodes in Aurora, Newtown, Tucson and Virginia Tech.

Mental health issues have been identified as part of the makeup of such these gun-wielding killers. We should approach our current laws dealing with mental health issues in a new light. We should look at new and more effective ways of identifying and dealing with those whose mental stability has been brought into question.

North Carolina, like many other states, has closed the state-run in-patient facilities for mental health. These closures have left the state with no facilities to house the mentally ill except within our local communities. It also has left the state with no state-run in-patient facility totally dedicated to the mental health of its citizens.

From research we know gun control is not the answer to these crimes. To find a solution, research will have to be performed. Do we really have the facilities to do research on mental health issues to identify the causes that prompted those who have perpetrated these murders?

— Ray Shamlin
Rocky Mount

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