Firearms are not the problem

To the Editor:

We are writing in response to the gun control controversy. I agree that the recent acts of violence are outrageous and totally reprehensible. We do feel, however, that that some people are reacting to these tragedies by blaming anyone and anything that they can in order to feel that they have power over the situation instead of examining all the facts and basing their conclusions on the evidence that is presented. Instead, they give a knee-jerk reaction and try to come up with solutions that truly will not solve the problems.

The violence at Columbine, the movie theater in Colorado, and now Sandy Hook as well as in other places around our country was perpetrated using firearm; this is true. However, the main weapon which was in use in all of these and so many other attacks were the actual perpetrators. These individuals, for whatever reasons that they may have had, were the true weapons, weapons of mass destruction. 

Some of the people in our country feel that all mass murders and attacks are done with guns, this is far from the truth. How many died in cult murder/suicides from poison? How many died in the fires at Waco, not to mention anthrax or the Unabomber? How many people in our country have been murdered in groups or individually by knives, baseball bats, machetes, axes, screwdrivers, ice picks, or everyday sticks or rocks? 

Yet the only thing that seems to be regulated or banned are firearms.

We feel that what is in need of regulating are people. Guns can only be legally purchased by people without criminal backgrounds and have no recorded mental disorders. All of the weapons used at Columbine and Sandy Hook were purchased legally by persons other than the shooters, thus they were stolen by these criminals. The Colorado theater shooter purchased his own weapons legally and then used them illegally. Why place more regulations on law-abiding citizens and deny them guns for hunting or personal protection when criminals will pay no heed to those laws and simply steal weapons or buy them on the black market? Doing so would be a criminals dream come true, a land where the everyday citizens are unarmed and ripe for the picking.

No one in their right mind would ever take a weapon into a theater and shoot total strangers, and it would take a total sociopath to enter a school and shoot innocent children. Why not take all the time, money, and energy that some are trying to put into taking away the constitutional right of every American citizen to own and bear arms and put it into recognizing, diagnosing, and treating the thousands of people who are suffering from a wide range of mental disorders? This would be a better solution.

Remember this — throughout the history of man, there have been those who have chose to commit murder. Prior to the invention of guns these murders were still committed. Also, throughout history one of the first acts of dictators upon taking over a country was to disarm the citizens so that they were easier to control. 

Taking away the right to own a firearm will not protect anyone, it will simply put us at the mercy of criminals who care nothing for those or any other laws.

Karl and Tina Marsh


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