Time for sensible changes
Cincinnati Enquirer: In the days since the latest massacre of innocents, public soul-searching and mourning have consumed us.
The “why” question has no easy answer. But finding answers will involve gun control, better mental health treatment and examining our broader culture that is numb to and accepts violence.
This is the time to make common-sense changes to our liberal gun laws. We banned the sale of assault-style weapons once. Why did we let that law expire? The problem didn’t go away. Research found that the ban had a limited impact on gun crime, but noted that part of the issue was all the exceptions that were written into the law.
We should also close the loopholes that allow convicted felons and others who shouldn’t possess guns to buy them.
The gun lobby will twist these common-sense measures into non sequiters about the Second Amendment, “freedom,” and “taking our guns away.” The NRA on Friday recommended adding armed guards at every school. But more guns and more fear is not the answer. Legislators and we, the community they represent, need to stay focused on the goal of making our communities safer.
Legal access to guns is essential; they can legitimately be used for self-defense. But assault-style weapons with high-capacity clips have no place in our homes and communities and should be banned.
Yet gun control, as tough as it will be, is the easier part of the puzzle. The harder step is an honest examination of our culture of violence.