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LETTER: Laws can be effective at reducing gun violence

Posted 7/16/22

Anyone who does not believe gun violence is at pandemic levels in the US is willfully ignorant.  Those saying, as Mitch McConnell recently did, that it is all due to mental illness are just not …

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LETTER: Laws can be effective at reducing gun violence

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Anyone who does not believe gun violence is at pandemic levels in the US is willfully ignorant.  Those saying, as Mitch McConnell recently did, that it is all due to mental illness are just not supported by the facts. Look at any other country — all have mental illness present — but the only direct relationship to the level of gun violence is the availability of guns.  In the US we have nearly 50,000 dying and over 450,000 injured each year from gun violence.  It is now the leading cause of death for those less than 19 years old., and the numbers of deaths and injuries are continuing to grow.
 
To say the Second Amendment gives the right to every American over 18 to possess an assault rifle is ridiculous.  The recent Supreme Court case said states like New York may not arbitrarily restrict someone from carrying a gun for self defense without specific justification, but they have never countered any state or federal laws regarding assault rifles.
 In 1934 the US faced a problem with machine guns in the hands of mobsters and responded with the National Firearms Act. The laws from this act, and as modified in 1968 and 1986, have been effective in nearly eliminating violence by machine gun – but do not prevent their ownership.  Although there are over 700,000 machine guns in private ownership in the US, they almost never appear in gun violence reports.
  Laws can be effective at reducing the horrific levels of violence we are experiencing, but it will take lawmakers with courage to oppose the NRA, the gun lobbyists and special interest groups.  Unfortunately, Representatives Claudia Tenney and Elise Stefanik have shown no interest in solving the problem. Gov. Kathy Hochul is taking action, but this problem cannot be solved without a nationwide effort.
 
 — Mike Corbett, Rome 

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