Letter: A need for common sense

Published 12:31 pm Saturday, March 3, 2018

A recent gun incident in a Texas church, as reported Feb. 26 this year by the Dallas Morning News, shows the absurdity of arming teachers with guns in our schools to protect our students. A man with a handgun entered a Texas church with intentions of taking hostages, when a brave parishioner disarmed the perpetrator and while holding the gun was himself shot by late-arriving law enforcement officers, thinking the hero was the original gunman. Thankfully the rescuer did not die and is recovering in an area hospital.

Can anyone with any common sense think it would be any different if three or four teachers with guns endeavoring to “take out” a shooter would not themselves end up dead by late-arriving police, not knowing which person holding the gun was the true shooter?  And can you imagine the resulting “collateral” kills in the cross-fire of multiple people shooting from various locations? Think about it!

So, you’re saying, “Okay, what’s your solution?” My suggestion is to emulate the Aussies.  After the horrendous Port Arthur, Australia, massacre in 1996, new gun laws in that country were enacted, banning all automatic and semiautomatic weapons. To expedite the new restrictions, the government installed a voluntary buy-out program allowing citizens to sell their assault-type weapons to the government. A total of 660,959 firearms were sold and destroyed. No mass killings have occurred in Australia since and inexplicitly, suicide rates and homicide rates involving guns have also dramatically dropped. What are we waiting for?

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Dean Bishop