Tina Dupuy’s column of Jan. 5 was correctly headlined. The assault weapons ban is a red herring. It’s a red herring because it distracts people from demanding that the authorities finally take steps to address the real causes of mass murder in America.
There is understandable public outrage over the Sandy Hook massacre, so opportunistic politicians are scurrying to do something, anything, to take the heat off themselves, no matter that enacting another ban on semi-automatic rifles will simply make law-abiding citizens more vulnerable to criminals armed with semi-automatic rifles.
Tina was right when she called the proposed ban “largely cosmetic” and “not (in reality) a good law,” because most crime with guns is committed using pistols, not rifles.
Tina might also have pointed out that semi-automatic rifles are implicated in only 1 percent of murders committed annually in this country, and that 30 percent of murders are still committed using fire, knives and blunt instruments.
Tina could also have allayed some of the public’s fear by telling the truth about the so-called assault weapons used in recent crimes. They were semi-automatic rifles that function like semi-automatic pistols — they shoot only one bullet with every pull of a trigger.
Unfortunately, Tina resorted to the same hackneyed argument that the widespread availability of guns is the de facto cause of crime committed with guns. That is the illogical equivalent of asserting that motor vehicles are responsible for traffic deaths.
Some real causes of recent massacres are a lack of moral responsibility by the producers of violent films and videos, not requiring the mentally disturbed to undergo counseling and treatment, unsecured and un-alarmed doors and windows and lack of armed personnel in school buildings, “no guns allowed” signs that inform the deranged they can kill with impunity and not permitting legal concealed carry around schools.
Robert English lives in Johnson City.