In “Laws make us safer. Why not with guns?” [Letters, Aug. 25], a reader writes about laws for traffic safety, laws that govern medical licenses and laws that ban some insecticides.
However, none of those are guaranteed and protected rights. U.S. citizens are guaranteed the freedom of speech, religion and the press in the First Amendment, and the right to own guns (bear arms) in the Second Amendment. The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution to guarantee protection of the people from a strong central government. It is no accident that the first two amendments were placed as they were.
John D. Fickes,
The problem is not about guns, but gun violence. The problem with guns, however, is that guns make it easier to commit violence. Someone who has an AK rifle can cause more violence than someone with a handgun, just as someone with a handgun can do more violence than someone with a knife.
If you must allow gun sales rather than dealing with the deeper problem of violence, at least limit the violence by limiting the caliber of the guns that legally can be sold.
After every mass shooting, finger-pointing begins. Blame is placed on mental derangement, gun proliferation, violent video games and bullying. But I believe one source escapes criticism: the news media.
I believe that headlining the events and running daily articles that describe the details of each occurrence, naming and picturing the shooter, desensitizes individuals. Shooters see that killing is easy. They can receive national and international coverage and be remembered for decades.
While I agree that assault weapons should be banned from nonmilitary use to mitigate the severity of any attack, the best approach to reduce these catastrophes is to limit news coverage to one day and to refrain from naming or picturing the shooter. The news media should avoid repeated detailed accounts, and limit coverage to brief follow-up reports. This would make the media accountable for what I believe is needlessly informing would-be copycats and giving them a forum and or a moment of infamy.
The media have a responsibility to report the news as it occurs, but not to inflame public debate or inspire further similar events.
Mihai D. Dimancescu,