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Letter: We have to take action to stop senseless killing

We have to take action to stop senseless killing

The Parkland, Fla., school shooting, murdering and maiming the nation’s promising youth at the hands of a disturbed person with an assault weapon, is a very sad commentary on the nation’s moral compass.

Each senseless death or injury, be it in a suburban, inner-city or rural area, affects the psyche of a much wider community until no one can be truly untouched by such events. What is the emotional toll on our nation? This toll is perhaps impossible to measure but is certainly real.

As citizens, we should ask ourselves: What can we do to prevent or reduce these tragedies that have become all too commonplace? Ideas that are most obvious would be to ban the sale of all assault weapons. From 1994 to 2004 there was an assault weapons ban enacted by Congress. During those years the number of mass shootings with five or more deaths was 1.6 per year. After the ban expired from 2005 to 2015 the rate of mass shootings (same criteria) jumped to 4.18 per year.

I am well aware of the powerful lobby interests of the manufacturers and the National Rifle Association, but how as a nation do we choose to balance the scales between lives lost and profits? It is a moral issue that all citizens must decide how to balance. Clearly, reimposing the assault weapons ban would save lives.

Finally, as consumers of advertisement and content from all our digital sources, we should stop viewing programming that continually shows violent acts. Violent media leaves viewers desensitized and dehumanized.

Each of us should think seriously about this situation. Active engagement and participation in whatever way you believe will lead to a more promising future for our children should be our mission.

Robert L. Klick

Amherst

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