Letters: Enact change over violence

We all grieve with those families whose lives are torn apart, but we don’t insist on changes in the law that can help to reduce the chances of more and more of the same. While we must respect a person’s privacy, professionals involved in mental health should collaborate on better ways to legally intervene with those disturbed individuals that may be on the verge of violence. Sensible people should also agree that while the right to own guns for protection or sport will never change in this country, nobody but law enforcement or our military needs guns that can fire hundreds of rounds a minute. Nothing will stop these senseless acts entirely, but for us to do nothing but feel sorry for the next group of victims and their families is a dereliction of duty. A sense of outrage has to start with us. If Sandy Hook caused no real change, is there hope? Not unless reasonable people get off their rear ends and demand it. Pray to God that we are not the next distraught mother or father on television after some other violent episode.

Murray Calhoun III, via email

Re: ‘Cut to the core problem’ (Metro, May 28)

Letter writer Michael McGovern’s assertion that “mental illness is the driving force behind [violent crimes]” is as false as it is insulting to the mentally ill population. The mentally ill are much more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators of it. While it might be satisfying for people to dismiss Rodger as a “madman” and wash their hands of his actions, that ignores the extremely vitriolic and dangerous way he viewed women and his sense of entitlement, which made him believe he “deserved” their attention. While it is unclear what role Rodger’s reportedly poor mental health played in the crime, the role of misogyny is obvious. So let’s not blame these deaths on the mentally ill. If we need to blame anyone, blame the sick culture that made him believe he could kill people for not getting what he wanted.

Michaela Beckmann, via email


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