Access to Firearms is the Issue

While mental health issues may have contributed to the Newtown murders, easy access to not simply one, but to three guns paved the way to the Connecticut massacre.

Wynne Marshall's statement that a mentally ill person can use even his/her fists as weapons is true, however, it is far less likely that people would have lost lives to a mentally deranged man's fists in the time it took him to slaughter twenty-six innocent human beings. Access to guns may not accelerate the numbers of massacres that occur but they most definitely contribute to the numbers of deaths that can be exacted upon a defenseless group of people at any one time.

Fortunately, in Canada, more stringent gun control exists than in the United States and these restrictions are reflected in our lower per capita murders by handguns. In reference to the failure of American gun control, comedian John Oliver noted, "One failed attempt at a shoe bomb and we all take off our shoes at the airport. Thirty-one school shootings since Columbine and no change in our regulation of guns." At times, comedy tells it like it is.

With more access that criminals, children, and mentally and emotionally unstable people have to guns, the greater the likelihood of a higher incidence of gun-related deaths. Our enforcement of gun control should persist and be strengthened and we should be encouraging reform in the laws of our neighbours to the south.

Debbie Schmidt

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