To the editor:
Almost immediately following the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., public calls for tighter gun control in the U.S. began to pour in, via the media and the Internet, spurring renewed national focus on the issue.
Prior to these most recent semi-automatic assault weapon-style slayings, efforts to increase gun control were out there, but they were far from being at the fore of the American public dialogue.
The real, driving question now is: What will really, finally be done about gun control in the United States, in order to address our fears — both longstanding and newfound — and keep our citizens, especially our children, safer from gun violence, especially in our schools?
I’d like to offer, first, a possible explanation of how we’ve managed to get to this dire state here in the U.S., and secondly, to offer a “best-possible” solution to the problem.
Currently, depending upon the state you live in, virtually anyone is allowed to purchase virtually any kind of assault weapon — and virtually any kind of ammunition. I include the word and the concept of ammunition here for a very specific reason. When the question of gun control in the U.S. is mentioned in the media, the word — and the concept of — ammunition is rarely, if ever, mentioned in the same dialogue. I’ll come to this word and concept again in a moment.
As we all know, there are currently many mentally ill and unstable individuals in society today. These range from severely depressed individuals to teens who are contemplating suicide to sociopaths and psychopaths.
In the case of the Newtown, Conn., slayings, the 20-year-old gunman, believed to have Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism, had access to assault-style weapons that were bought by his mother. No need even to purchase — he simply had to take from the home and use them to kill 26 innocent people in his hometown.