The shooter’s responsible

To the editor:

And so, yet another nutcase with a gun shoots up a school, killing 17 and injuring 14 innocent people.

Why, we ask. Why does this happen?

Who can truthfully know? Is there some common factor linking the phenomenon known as the mass shooter? Something that can be identified, and looked for?

Some say they were all on a particular kind of medication. I don’t know how true that is.

Were they bullied? Made to feel excluded? Was their self-esteem lacking? Again, who can really know?

Maybe they’re just plain crazy.

All I know is, once again, the cry goes up for more restrictions on guns, for “common-sense gun laws.”

Now, while the phrase “common-sense gun laws” sounds fine — it’s kind of like “a living wage.” It sounds nice and sensible, reasonable, even. Who could ever oppose common-sense gun laws, right?

The problem is, what does that mean, exactly? It’s an entirely subjective term, and therein lies the problem. What one person may find reasonable and common sensical, another might find utterly outrageous. Common ground is virtually impossible to find, and terms agreed upon.

Who, then, do we blame, when this happens? It seems that no one in authority ever wants to suggest blaming the individual — they want to blame the guns. It’s always the guns.

Something has to be done about guns.

The NRA always takes it on the chin, but its detractors seem terribly hard-pressed to find a shooter who was an actual, paying NRA member.

“Well,” they cry, “the NRA lobbies for the things the shooter use.” Maybe, but the NRA didn’t tell them to kill anyone. The shooter made that decision.

We evil Republicans and conservatives are always blamed, because we support gun rights, shamelessly championing the birthright of the individual to defend him or herself, as they see fit.

There are the equivalent of many mass shootings, yearly, in inner-city Chicago, some even during a single weekend. At this writing, according to the Chicago Tribune, there have been 249 shootings there so far in 2018, fewer than 50 days.

Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, but nobody ever wants to talk about that. We just need more gun laws.

And more “gun-free zones” which, incidentally, are the setting of choice for the prudent mass shooter. It’s not as much fun, certainly, when there’s the possibility of someone shooting back.

And, while we’re on the subject, how many of those shooters in urban Chicago do you suppose vote Republican, if at all?

So, one crazy misfit occasionally goes off, instigating a pointless tragedy, and the solution, as always, is to punish and restrict the other 90-plus million innocent gun owners in the country. That’s logical, and fair. Isn’t it?

The Democrats had the government sewn up from 2009-2011. If they’d truly wanted their common-sense guns laws, they could easily have enacted them then, but they didn’t. Who, then, do we blame?

We blame the shooter. Period.

Rob Denham

Weirton

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