Can there be common ground on guns?

Commentary

I would argue that the high rate of gun violence in the United States is primarily due to mental illness going untreated, e.g., the latest mass shooter was evaluated for a mandatory psychological examination and the examiner clearly erred on the wrong side and decided not to have him taken into custody for same, all the while his own Mother was afraid of him! His neighbors would have further testified that they had heard at least one gunshot one night from his house and that his mother was afraid of him.

Spoons don’t cause obesity any more than guns cause death any more than cars make bank robbers get away, they are all instruments of stupid people and I’m one of them when it comes to the spoon, but not guns.

The problem is that mentally ill people are allowed to get guns because 40 percent of gun sales do not include a background check. Ergo, someone can be released from a mental institution in the afternoon and in many states go to a gun show than night and buy all the guns they want. Now that is “beyond the pale” absurd.

However, the National Rifle Association is the second strongest lobby in Congress. After Sandy Hook, the NRA’s influence was incredible.

Here’s another absurdity. Would you believe even 72 percent of the members of the NRA want universal background checks and that the NRA was for the same until it looked like it was going to pass, and then its “leadership” aka “Insane LaWayne” did a 180-degree turnaround and opposed it. So why doesn’t the membership throw him out?

Anyone who is against Universal Background Checks is simply irrational. The “slippery slope” argument is equally absurd.

We allow teenagers to wield two tons of steel right through the middle of society at the age of 16, but NOT UNTIL they pass a written and physical test of their ability to drive safely. It’s a “no brainer” and the same should go for owning a gun, any gun, rifles included.

In New York state, this was the case over half a century ago when I had to take a NRA course. The pictures of hunters with half their faces blown off because they tried to climb over fences with loaded shotguns or rifles is still etched in my mind to this day.

When I’m around a gun, I’m a very serious person, no joking around, no light hearted mood when dealing with a death machine. To me, that is also a “no brainer.” Voltaire got it right when he said, “Common sense, isn’t so common..”

Roger P. Orcutt, Ph.D. (Retired) is a Dunkirk resident.

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