September 20, 2013 9:56:57 AM
Editorial and accompanying cartoon misleading
Your Sept. 17 "Our View" advocating more gun control laws was misleading on the causes and solutions to gun violence, and the accompanying cartoon showing NRA members high fiving the Grim Reaper was insulting to law abiding gun owners, whether NRA members or not. You're right about one thing, though: Mississippians and most Americans don't want their Second Amendment rights infringed upon. As evidence, even in Colorado recently, two pro-gun-control Democrats in the legislature were successfully recalled and replaced by pro-gun Republicans. Laws already on the books require that everyone who wishes to buy a gun in a store undergo a background check.
Felons, those with history of domestic violence, and those adjudicated as have mental illness cannot purchase a firearm. Most all of the mass shootings have been committed by mentally unstable individuals. The problem with preventing the mentally ill from having guns and committing violence is twofold. In the 70s, PC types emptied the mental institutions and now laws make it difficult to get the dangerously mentally ill involuntarily treated or committed or to even report their condition to authorities. Also, many states do not communicate information on the seriously mentally to a central location. This was the case with the recent Navy yard shooter who was know to have serious mental problems.
Most of the gun deaths you refer to are committed as murders with stolen firearms in areas like Chicago where leaders do not seem to want to intervene. These thugs would continue to have illegal guns even if the rest of us were disarmed and rendered helpless. PC types are now trying to outlaw the "Stop and Frisk" policy of the NYPD which has taken many illegal guns off the streets. The NRA has always been committed to keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals.
The Navy yard shooting was as bad as it was because the only people in the facility allowed to be armed were the too few guards. Only a good person with a gun can stop a bad person with a gun.
In summary, enforce the gun laws already on the books; give mandatory sentences nation-wide for gun crimes; make it easier to report, treat, and if necessary, institutionalize the mentally unstable, but don't advocate a knee-jerk, emotional response of disarming the rest of us who responsibly own firearms for hunting, sport, and protection.