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Letter: ‘Thoughts and prayers’ will not stop massacres

‘Thoughts and prayers’ will not stop massacres

I write as one who has years of experience with a rifle, shotgun and handgun.

Will the horror of the Las Vegas shooting just fade away in Washington, or will it produce positive gun control legislation? Despite the continuous carnage of mass shootings, all we get are Congress’ cynical “thoughts and prayers” or “moments of silence.” We can no longer afford such solemn inaction.

Clearly, no “good guy with a gun” could have stopped the Las Vegas massacre. If the shooter had a silencer, the terror would have gone on longer. But there now are proposals in Congress to relax restrictions on armor-piercing bullets, interstate transport of guns and the sale of silencers. Such proposals must be defeated.

Regardless of the shooter, the issue with mass shootings is always firepower. Since banning certain semiautomatic rifles after a 1996 mass shooting in which 38 people were killed, Australia’s gun homicide rate has steadily declined. Indeed, less firepower equals fewer deaths and woundings.

One national approach would be to ban AR-15s, AK-47s and their clones, (which can be modified to be fully automatic, and some of which can handle 100-round drum magazines), “bump stocks,” all high capacity magazines and close all background-check loopholes. Why not nationalize the New York State SAFE Act?

But, locally, Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard refuses to enforce the SAFE Act. He is not doing his sworn duty and should resign.

Gene Grabiner


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