Reading the well-written and insightful column by Natalie Gomez and the letter about violence stemming from media and cultural attitudes focused my mind on the genesis of mass casualty events of the last 20 years in this country. Ms. Gomez pointed out mental illness as one cause and correctly pointed out that it is a global issue. But then, so is violent media. Americans are not uniquely susceptible to mental illness and violent video games, movies, television, etc are quite prevalent in other countries around the world. Abortion and assisted suicide are available in quite a number of other countries.
And yet, in none of those other countries do we find repeated acts of mass murder on an industrial scale. So, what do those repeated acts of mass murder in the United States have in common? First, they are all carried out by males, usually young but not exclusively; and here again, there are young males in abundance in all of those other countries. And with rare exception, the other proximate cause of the death and injury in these events is a semiautomatic rifle outfitted with high capacity magazines filled with bullets designed for war and maximum damage to a human body.
Since we can’t eliminate young males we are left with eliminating the high-powered, semiautomatic weapons of war with high capacity magazines. They were designed for one thing… killing humans, and no decent society should allow them in the hands of civilians.