According to an Oct. 6 Reporter article, Twish (who has only one name) of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, “believes that the [Las Vegas] shooter did not receive proper medical care and attention.” But from what I have read there was no previous indication that the shooter had any mental health problems. Trish also suggested that laws about background checks are “basic.” But the shooter had successfully passed background checks. And given his history, it is a stretch for Trish to say that those laws “failed.” Or that any background checks would have prevented him from possessing a firearm.
If we are going to reduce the frequency of similar incidents, we need to start getting more realistic. Emotions are wonderful but unless they stimulate practical ideas, they don’t accomplish very much. All indications are that the Las Vegas tragedy could not have been prevented by either better mental health interventions or better background checks. It seems to me that we can address tragedies of the Las Vegas scale only by reducing the lethality of firearms. And how can it be more obvious that the “bump stocks” available by mail that allowed the shooter to turn a semi-automatic rifle into an automatic rifle should be illegal? Sen. Diane Feinstein of California tried to accomplish that years ago and was thwarted by our Congress — a Congress that should therefore share the blame for the catastrophe in Las Vegas.
I don’t think that vehicle drivers should have pistols in their glove compartments without a demonstrated need. I wouldn’t trust myself to have a pistol there and I’m a pretty mild-mannered guy. But on the other hand, I respect that people should be able to protect their homes by the reasonable use of firearms. So why can’t we all get together on this issue with a reasonable compromise?
Here is a simple idea. Suppose that not just one but two pulls on a trigger would be required to fire a long gun. The “bump stock” perversion would be out of commission, and as a bonus many, maybe most, unintentional shootings would also be prevented. Furthermore, there must be many more ideas out there that would put us on the right track toward dealing with tragedies such as the recent one in Las Vegas. Is there any reason we can’t all get together on this problem?