Need for control - GulfToday

Need for control

Need for control

Police and court records found that 54% of mass shootings involved the shooter killing a family member or an intimate partner.

I was shocked to read in your newspaper (Nov.22) that three out of four US children and teenagers killed in mass shootings over the past decade were victims of domestic violence and generally died in their homes, quoting a study released by the gun control group Everytown.

While the specter of school shootings looms darkly in the minds of American parents who remember massacres in Newtown, Connecticut; Parkland, Florida, and around the country, the group’s review of shootings from 2009 through 2018 found that far more children were killed in their own homes.

Shockingly, the Everytown report, based on police and court records as well as media reports, found that 54% of mass shootings involved the shooter killing a family member or an intimate partner.

I am startled to read that a total of 1,121 people were killed in 194 mass shootings in the decade examined, and one-third of those were children or teenagers.

At the top of Everytown’s wish list was a “red flag” law that would allow family members or law enforcement officers to petition a judge to seize firearms from a person they think is a threat to themselves or others. I totally agree with that suggestion.

Gun control may be a hot-button issue in the United States which holds the right to bear arms as almost sacred, but the latest tragedies in which several people were killed or wounded in mass shootings should be seen as an unambiguous indication that status quo on the subject cannot remain an option.

The debate on gun control cannot and should not be wished away. Pope Francis, for example, has frequently lashed out at gun manufacturers, calling them “merchants of death.”

During his 2015 speech to the US Congress, he called for an end to the arms trade, which he said was fueled by a quest for “money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood.”

Reality television star Kim Kardashian is also among a host of celebrities calling for tighter gun controls. “We owe it to our children and our teachers to keep them safe while at school. Prayers won’t do this: action will. Congress, please do your job and protect Americans from senseless gun violence,” she once tweeted.

America deserves concrete measures to protect innocent people from trigger-happy criminals. I think tighter gun control is the only way forward.

Richard Dias
By email

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