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Home » Opinion | Gun Safety Plan: A ‘Band-Aid’ for a Hemorrhage

Opinion | Gun Safety Plan: A ‘Band-Aid’ for a Hemorrhage

by News Desk

To the Editor:

News that “Senators Agree on Framework for Gun Safety” (front page, June 13) confirms where Congress is as an institution. The minimal proposals are hailed not because they respond meaningfully to the epidemic of gun violence but because the Senate is proposing to respond at all.

This is what the slaughter of innocent children hath wrought: no age limitations on the purchase of AR-15 semiautomatic rifles, much less any ban on their purchase.

In the moral desert that is the Republican Senate on gun issues, we celebrate a teaspoon of water.

Michael Curry
Austin, Texas

To the Editor:

The bipartisan plan proposed for the Senate is trying to stanch a major arterial hemorrhage with a Band-Aid! Ban semiautomatic handguns and rifles, already! It’s the guns.

Jim Webster
Shelter Island, N.Y.

To the Editor:

After Sandy Hook in 2012, I decided to get better informed about the background check process. During a lull in gun sales at a nearby sporting goods store, I got a helpful clerk to show me the appropriate background check form. To complete it would have taken me 10 minutes, max.

“If I want to buy a gun,” I asked, “how quickly will I be able to get approval?”

“Results typically come back online in 15 minutes or less. Between 85 and 90 percent of applications are approved on the spot.”

This process contrasted with a much lengthier, slower full background check I underwent each school year to be approved to volunteer in a school library.

Lives already lost to gun violence cannot be replaced. Expanded background checks and “red flag” provisions are a start toward slowing future carnage.

Jinny Batterson
Waynesfield, Ohio

To the Editor:

Federal law requires that the semiautomatic shotguns used to hunt migratory waterfowl must not fire more than three shots without being reloaded. The idea is to give ducks a fair chance to escape being killed. The law provides no such limitation on the weapons of choice used to murder children.

Shouldn’t the law give children at least the same protection as it gives ducks?

Alex Sanders
Charleston, S.C.

To the Editor:

Re “Seeking Clues Why Gunmen Are So Young” (front page, June 2):

It’s dangerous to talk about the emerging pattern of teenage mass shooters without highlighting a more common thread that unites so many assailants: their violent hatred of women.

It’s become a familiar pattern at this point. After the initial shock and horror of a mass shooting wears off, law enforcement and media begin reporting that the assailant had a history of online harassment of women, sexual assault and/or domestic violence. The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence found that a staggering two-thirds of mass shootings were linked to domestic violence.

For months before the shooting at Robb Elementary School, the shooter directed violent harassment against young girls online, threatening to kidnap, rape or murder them. He then shot his grandmother before entering Robb Elementary School.

Shooters in Santa Barbara, Orlando, Sutherland Springs, Montreal and elsewhere have likewise been motivated by or had histories of violent misogyny, including engaging in online harassment, domestic violence and sexual assault, and deliberately targeting women in a mass shooting.

If we want to address the scourge of gun violence and mass shootings in America, we have to be honest about the role of misogynistic violence as a gateway to mass violence.

Lynn Hecht Schafran
New York
The writer is senior vice president at Legal Momentum, a legal advocacy group for women.

To the Editor:

Re “Trump Rebuffed Aides Over Loss, Denying Reality” (front page, June 14):

As I watched Monday’s hearing of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, I was struck by the comity among the committee’s members — so unlike the raucous, uncivil, unbecoming behavior we have grown accustomed to seeing of late in public congressional proceedings.

It took two diametrically opposed things to bring us this welcome reminder of how government is supposed to work: the Jan. 6 committee members’ love for democracy, and Donald Trump’s abject contempt for it.

Jon D. Morrow
New York

To the Editor:

“A Biden Team’s Costly Harmony,” by Peter Beinart (Opinion guest essay, June 6), argues that President Biden’s foreign policy advisers are a group of “well-mannered militarists.” This is an unfair characterization of Mr. Biden’s global counselors.

Most of them are well known for their independence of mind and their desire for nonmilitary alternatives. This is an especially egregious charge against Mr. Biden’s secretary of state, Tony Blinken, whom Mr. Beinart singles out.

It is true that Mr. Blinken once worked at a consulting firm whose clients included defense contractors. But Mr. Blinken’s inclinations as a diplomat have been invariably toward peaceful engagement, not wartime action.

Mr. Beinart cites as evidence of Mr. Blinken’s confrontational approach his recent China speech. But, actually, in that address Mr. Blinken went out of his way to state that the administration’s foreign policy is based on two fundamental documents: the U.N. Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Those are hardly the beliefs of a hawk or a war lover.

Stephen Schlesinger
New York
The writer is a fellow at the Century Foundation, former director of the World Policy Institute and the author of “Act of Creation: The Founding of the United Nations.”

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