As the country reels in the wake of multiple senseless shootings I want to commend Jon Mays’ Aug. 2 column on the subject, “Explore every possible way to prevent mass shootings.”

It went beyond the usual knee-jerk reaction of blaming the gun and presented a more complete approach to the issue. The gun is the low hanging fruit and even here we have failed to enact sensible changes. In fact, calling for gun restrictions but failing to enact any meaningful change may actually be making the situation worse.

I remember a news interview with the owner of a Nevada gun store. He said: “Obama is the best salesman we have. Every time he talks about gun control our sales go up.” However, we continue to talk about the gun because it is easier than delving into the more difficult societal issues where we have failed.

We have failed as parents in recognizing the impact of TV and computer game violence on vulnerable minds. Our education and religious institutions have failed to recognize troubled individuals before they go on a suicidal rampage. And our society and government have failed to provide adequate funding for the recognition and treatment of mental health issues in our country.

If we only focus on the gun, we will not see the bigger picture. The roots of the problem go deep into our societal framework and are likely to take generations before real change can be brought about.

Steven Howard

Redwood City

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(2) comments


Anger, fear, greed, hate, ignorance, stupidity and violence will never be eliminated from the human race.


And why shouldn't we try? There are countries that have handled those problems better than we have been able to here, - partly because they made an honest effort!

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