What are we to do about weekly mass shootings?

To the editor:

The United States has entered a new, very scary stage in its long love affair with guns. Killers are now, almost weekly, opening fire in unexpected places, shooting anything that moves and then dying – often killing themselves – before anyone can ask them why they did it.

They are better armed than the police. And, they could not care less who dies – including themselves – so long as their goals of death and destruction are achieved.

The inevitable result of this new street terror is that the average Joe and Jane is beginning to think twice before leaving the house. And, make no mistake, this accomplishes what no exterior terrorist has ever come close to achieving: We are becoming more afraid of our so-called “well regulated militias” – our fellow citizens.

Of course, that means fear of the person next to you on the bus, in the car waiting at the light or in the movie line. Or the person walking near the perfume counter at the local department store.

I, personally, have never understood this fascination with weapons. But I – like almost everyone – know people who own them. And I believe most are responsible, sane people.

I will never own a gun, but I know others will and acknowledge that they have that right under our Constitution. But we’re at the point where we need to take steps to sensibly police that well-regulated militia of the Second Amendment. How?

Cops have been stating for years that there is no need for individuals to own massive amounts of ammunition, automatic rifles, bullet-proof vests and other materials designed and suited more for jungle warfare than the streets of any modern, civilized city. Most gun owners have said for years that there is no need for automatic weapons to hunt a duck.

And cops and many citizens have long expressed the desire to have some sort of personality test before unleashing someone with a serious weapon upon the streets of America. These tests exist and are an excellent way to gauge whether Mr. Doe will be a responsible gun owner or may harbor a sickness that can result in innocent people randomly dying on the streets of America.

With all that’s happened – and the regularity of those occurrences over the past months – maybe it’s time to revisit those concerns and finally address them in a serious way.

Let’s be realistic: Politicians cannot say this for fear of being called “soft on crime” and for fear of being tagged “willing to take our guns away.” The National Rifle Association won’t address these realities because, to this group, any encroachment on the Second Amendment is tantamount to a slippery slope.

That leaves only one group – you.

Something has to be done. Enough is enough and – with these weekly, unprovoked massacres of the innocent – it’s past time.

Remedies will have to come from the bottom up or, put another way, from the demands of the masses. Athough we’re a representative democracy our leaders can’t do their jobs unless we represent ourselves.

Drake Collier

Las Vegas

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