All Work / Hema's Musings - Blog

In The Aftermath of Mass Shooting

Letter to the Editor

Moscow Pullman Daily News


After any mass murder, accident or suicide involving guns, the gun lobby blames mental health, parents, lack of guns for self-protection, media, movies, video games, and now, hotel security.

In the aftermath of Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Pulse, Las Vegas, we were warned not to politicize the issue. After any other tragedy—accidents of cars, planes, ships, terrorist attacks, electrical failures—government and industries work to find the causes and ways to improve the situation. Not so after a shooting.

Sure, most gun owners are responsible adults who enjoy hunting or sports shooting. Why would they need military style weapons? If such weapons are thrilling for sports shooting, could the shooting range store these weapons in lockers for their customers so they don’t fall in wrong hands?

The gun lobby finally agreed to a ban on Bump Stocks. However, this positive step is countered by the NRA’s offer of insurance for gun owners to protect themselves. If the gun industry would like to help, they should be providing insurance for medical coverage of the victims. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins 100,000 people are hospitalized every year because of gun violence. In addition to the loss of lives, those who survive become physically or mentally disabled, depressed, and lose their jobs. The cost of treatment is $2.8 billion, which doesn’t include the cost of rehab, job losses, and long term effect on the family. Those bills are paid by tax-payer funded Medicaid.

With the right to bear arms comes the responsibility to society. Just as some have a right to own guns, others have a right to be safe in schools, colleges, theaters, churches and neighborhoods. We need to balance between safety and unlimited access to guns.