In his June 23 letter “Paranoia fired up by media,” I think Gary S. Smith has missed the point. I have followed the news of the recent shootings, including Reynolds High School and Seattle Pacific University. I have also read other analyses similar to those from Smith, saying that gun violence is not rising. My question is what is an acceptable level of gun violence? Is the current level acceptable so long as we don’t go over some historic level?
Any senseless killing is one too many. If we have some ways to reduce the number of shootings without depriving gun owners of their Second Amendment rights, then we should take advantage of them.
It’s common knowledge that most of these mass shooters suffer from some kind of mental illness. History shows that many times the people around them knew of the mental illness, but nothing could be done. If we could identify and treat people with serious mental illness, we could reduce these shootings.
There are some people who should not have guns, either because of mental illness or criminal activity. Sound policies to register guns would reduce the number of such people with guns while still providing other citizens the right to own guns.
We need to take steps to reduce the carnage. We have such ways at our disposal, if we have the will to use them.