Let's prevent gun murder | Letter

Jun 13, 2014

Editor, The Beacon:

I've heard the suspect in the recent SPU shootings was a student at Edmonds Homeschool Resource Center, now known as Edmonds Heights, where my children have attended school since fall of 2003.

The shooter is two years older than my oldest daughter. They went to school together.

I have to ask: how many more kids have to die before people start taking proactive steps to reduce gun violence? Unlike cars, a gun's sole purpose is violence.

In my opinion, our state can implement a two-step solution.

Many domestic mass shooters are mentally unstable. Therefore, every gun owner should be required to pass a mental health background check.

There's support for this in Washington's Family Law. Currently, CPS can remove children from their parent's home, if their mental instability creates a danger to their children.

Law enforcement and the military both require mental health background checks before a soldier or police officer is allowed to access weapon arsenals.

Our police and military understand the threat the mentally unstable can pose, if allowed access to firearms. They require mental health background checks, and we should too.

As a society, we've recognized the danger of a motor vehicle. Before someone is allowed firearm ownership, they should be required to pass a safety and proficiency test, just like when driving a car.

Also, soldiers and police are required to pass safety and proficiency tests, before they're allowed to carry guns. Gun owners should be required to pass similar tests.

If we want to stop gun violence, the solution is to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally unstable and those without training.

If these common sense checks and balances had been in place a decade ago, how many children would have been saved?

 

Bob Lewis

Lynnwood

 

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