Sound off for Dec. 23, 2012

By From page A8 | December 23, 2012

Our Tuesday editorial, “Latest mass shooting should be the last,” brought plenty of comments from our readers.

Here are some comments from our website on the editorial:

  • How about an excise tax on guns, ammo, and other gun-related paraphernalia to be earmarked for mental health services for all Americans in need? That’s a start. Then we can commission studies to try to figure out what’s different about our culture, where gun violence is so prevalent, and other otherwise similar countries where it’s not. We know it’s not only because guns are so available here, because a determined killer can certainly overcome that obstacle, thinking of the Norway shootings
  • We have to be careful not to project what might motivate us (fear, anger, etc.) onto these people. They are not like us. That’s why I propose a national study by trained professionals. Like we did for smoking, 9/11, the fiscal crisis. Ironically, because of Super PACs, etc., the NRA and other single-issue lobbying groups have lost clout. They have a role to play, but right now, they need to get reasonable, join in and reestablish a place on higher ground.
  • There are so many unique aspects of our history and culture, we have a peacetime gun violence problem against innocent people here and now like no time or place on Earth. The complexity of our causes will require some thought to sort out. But I believe the solution will be to take to heart the “we’re all in this together” message, and to show care for each other as Americans. If someone really cared for these shooters, it’s unlikely they would have ended up where they did.

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