EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

September 23, 2013

Letter:

To the editor:

I read Richard O’Shaughnessy’s letter to the editor on Friday, Sept. 20, and it raised a few questions with me.

Firstly, let me point out that I am not a member of the NRA, but I have owned guns for hunting and target shooting for most of my life. I do support background checks and training for the safe handling of firearms, but I do not favor banning guns.

There are between 23 million and 43.7 million licensed hunters in this country, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as millions of competitive and target shooters. My first question to Mr. O’Shaughnessy is this: Are these hunters the “insane, stupid gun culture” you speak of? Or is there another segment of the population that gets that distinction?

Mr. O’Shaughnessy questioned your logic in your editorial, where you stated that the shooter in Washington had a shotgun and passed a background check. Those facts are true. My next question would be: Does he think that the victims’ families would feel better knowing that the shooter had been involved in shooting incidents in the past, and he had been treated for mental health issues, but he was allowed to “fall through the cracks” by the very system that was put in place to prevent that? Not to mention how he got that shotgun past security in a U.S. military installation.

And my final question would be: Does Mr. O’Shaughnessy realize that in every incident of late (Washington, Newtown, Aurora, Tucson, Columbine), every shooter in those incidents was deemed insane?

So does he really think that banning guns is the answer? That’s like saying forks are responsible for the obesity problem in this country. Perhaps it’s time to look into the mental health aspect of this issue.

Dave Forest

Windham

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