Letter: Stop fixating on the guns
Jean Cunningham wrote a response to my column about gun control, semi-auto rifles and the Boulder King Soopers shooting. What is interesting about people like her is that they concentrate on the instrument, not the wrongdoer. If you want to do something about a problem like drunk driving, do you focus on the car, or the driver?
Jean says that AR-15-type weapons have been used in 26% of the last 80 mass shootings in this country. Well, what about the other 74%? Why do people of her persuasion think that removing semi-auto rifles will deter carnage? The Boulder shooter also had a handgun. If he was denied access to a semi-auto rifle, would he have given up on his mission?
A review of some other incidents gives food for thought:
Two other shootings in March — the Atlanta massage parlors and the California business — involved handguns.
In February, there was an incident at a clinic in Buffalo, Minnesota, in which eight were injured. There, the weapons were a handgun and some bombs that caused injury and damage.
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In April, 2019, Sol Pais came to Colorado indicating she might do violence at schools. Her weapon was a shotgun. Luckily she killed herself near Mt. Evans before harming anyone else.
It doesn’t have to be guns. Besides the Buffalo, Minnesota, incident described above, we have the Boston Marathon bombing, in which the weapons were pressure cookers. Later, the two perpetrators used handguns when approached by police.
Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas shooter, did use semi-auto rifles, but he also had with him ammonium nitrate and Tannerite. What he planned to do with those explosive materials is not known.
Recall the Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building by Timothy McVeigh, who used ammonium nitrate and nitromethane to make a massive bomb in a rental truck.
Finally, there is 9/11 — where the weapons were box cutters and airplanes.