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Tougher gun laws do help prevent mass shootings

Let’s talk about mass shootings and what can be done to prevent these recurring tragedies.

Think a good guy with a gun will stop a bad guy with a gun? They won’t. Thirty-two seconds was how long it took Dayton police to kill a lone gunman. Thirty-two seconds was also enough time to kill nine people and wound 15 others.

Think that mental illness and violent video games are the main causes of mass shooting episodes? They aren’t. Video games are everywhere but mass shootings are only a problem in America. Experts tell us that mental illness is the primary factor in about three percent of mass shootings. Hatred is a much larger issue but hate is not a mental illness.

Think that gun regulations don’t make a difference? They do. The assault weapons ban passed in 1994 reduced mass shootings, despite it’s many loopholes. When the law was allowed to expire in 2004, mass shootings doubled.

Think that gun regulations are unpopular? They’re not. Close to 90 percent of people support universal background checks and 62 percent back an assault weapons ban. A majority of Republicans support a ban on high capacity ammunition magazines.

Think that the Second Amendment prohibits any gun regulations? It doesn’t. While defending a right to bear arms, courts have repeatedly affirmed that limits on gun ownership are constitutional.

Think that banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines will lead to taking away people’s hunting rifles and lawfully obtained hand guns? It won’t. There is no serious discussion of banning guns other than those designed to inflict mass casualties on your fellow citizens.

Think the NRA is an organization created to defend the Constitution and keep citizens safe and free from tyranny? It isn’t. It is an industry promotion group that aims to increase gun sales and gun manufacturer profits.

Think a congressperson who accepts NRA money and treasures their NRA “A” rating won’t vote for sensible gun reform? You’re almost certainly right. They know there are a minority of voters who put gun freedoms ahead of everything else. They know a vote for sensible gun safety laws could cost them their seat in Congress. Well it’s time for the majority to let our representatives know that doing nothing in response to mass slaughter after mass slaughter is no longer acceptable. As the mourners chanted in Dayton: “Do something!”

BILL DORAN

Broadalbin