The writer of a letter in last week’s paper, “Wake up call for gun legislation,” asked for more gun legislation without knowing all the facts. We already have it. Before anybody can purchase a gun from a licensed dealer, in any state, they have to go through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
Regarding the three shootings he mentioned, in the Oxford shooting, the purchaser passed a background check and legally bought the gun before he gave it to the shooter, his 15-year-old son. In Sandy Hook, the shooter took his mother’s legally purchased gun, killed her, then went on a shooting spree. And the Parkland shooter purchased his gun after clearing a background check. In all three cases, stronger gun control would not have stopped the shooting. 83 of the mass shootings in the United States between 1982 and November 2021 involved weapons which were obtained legally, while 16 were not. The real problem is not gun legislature, but the parents’ failure to properly secure their guns, and not noticing or caring that their child needed help. It’s time to put the blame where it really lies—on the parents. I was glad to see the Oxford shooter’s parents arrested. Their cavalier attitude justified it.
Every shooting range I have ever been to, will provide information on the proper handling and safety of a gun and the NRA offers a number of classes locally on gun safety along with the proper use of a gun. The internet is full of gun safety articles, and gun locks are available for free from most police stations. There is absolutely no shortage of gun safety information, if you want it.
Currently, Michigan requires an eight hour class before receiving a concealed carry permit, but nothing to buy one. Any dummy can buy a gun, as long as they have a clean record. Many of these buyers never even held a gun before. My suggestion would be; before a gun can be sold, the purchaser needs to attend a mandatory class to learn the dangers of owning a gun, it’s use, handling, proper storage, and range time to feel its capability, and informed that they will be held responsible for its use.