Now is indeed the time to discuss gun control
It is maddening to hear, following the recent massacre in Las Vegas, again the same choruses. Gun control advocates call for regulation; NRA supporters claim the problem lies with mental health and position themselves to resist any regulation. This time we should not be paralyzed by this false dichotomy. Of course there is some truth on both sides.
While I have no firsthand information, from news reports it seems to me this assassin, owning over 40 guns and a mountain of ammunition, as well as explosives, was in effect addicted to firearms and their destructive potential. He must have derived emotional gratification from owning his weapons, and I presume this evolved into a need to experience their power.
Would improved mental health services have prevented this attack? From what we hear of him on the news, I doubt it. But they might have forestalled the actions of Dylann Roof (Charleston) and Adam Lanza (Sandy Hook). Would reasonable firearm regulation have prevented this attack? Perhaps not, but it would have prevented many deaths and injuries.
Contrary to what some say, this is the time to discuss these questions. And it is the time to call out the lie of the NRA, the false claim that any regulation is a first step to “take away ours guns.” Laws concerning motor vehicle registration, inspection, driver licensing and DWI have not led to taking away our cars. It is time for our leaders to discuss, debate and act.