Some thoughts about preventing mass shootings


Arkady Mamaysky | Special to the JT

The greatest democratic country in the world must find a solution to the endless, seemingly unsolvable problem of mass shooting. This problem is a sign of anarchy and not representative of our great democracy. America must be able to protect its citizens, its children.

(Courtesy photo)

This is not an easy task, but nevertheless, let us consider some possible ideas:

No. 1: The first solution has been in place for many years already. It entails discussions by government officials in order to come up with a solution.

So the politicians are talking — have been talking for years — each influenced by one or another powerful lobby. Bureaucracy is in full swing. The media is very much involved. But so far, no effective measures have been suggested or introduced.

Oh yes, one “great idea” promoted by politicians is to change the legal age to buy a semi-automatic gun from 18 to 21 years old. Of course, the innocent kids killed in Robb Elementary School in Texas would be “much better off” if the killer had been not 18 but 21.

So the first solution is not sufficient and doesn’t work.

No. 2: The second solution is for the manufacturing and selling of guns to the general public to be prohibited, with guns presently in private hands to be confiscated. This is not realistic. The gun manufacturers, the NRA and most gun owners won’t allow this to happen.

So the second solution does not work.

No. 3: All public places (supermarkets, schools, places of worship, cinema theaters, etc.) should be equipped with metal detectors at their entrances and guarded by trained security personnel.

This is possible but expensive. But we are talking about the lives of American citizens, often children. Can we put a dollar value on life?

If the expense will be shared between private and government institutions, then it might be possible.

So this could work.

No. 4: The fourth solution is to allow and encourage all law-abiding citizens to arm themselves with handguns for self-defense.

This, of course, would be after appropriate criminal background and psychological checks of each individual. Yes, this not a simple undertaking, but isn’t it obvious that if teachers in the Robb Elementary School would have been armed, the number of victims could have been much less than 21.

So No. 4 can work.

No. 5: The fifth solution is for children in schools to be taught at each grade, starting from an early age, of how wrong, cruel and inhumane the killing of an innocent person is. So that by the age 18 and 21, everyone will feel disgusted even to think about taking an innocent life, as well as be able to recognize a dangerous individual and take some preventative measures.

Such a course must be mandatory for all public and private schools through all school years. This does not require big expenses since it would be a part of the standard school curriculum.

This last idea could work and must be an important part of the solution to the problem.

Mass shootings have been going on for many years. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been about 480 mass shootings year-to-date in the United States through September 2022. There were also already 29 school shootings. Government authorities so far have not been able to put an end to this national tragedy.

Each state has its own approach to the mass shooting problem. But for a problem as terrible as this, there must be one comprehensive strong law for the entire country, including each state.

Lately, we were promised by the Biden administration that some actions would be developed in six months. Isn’t it too long of a time to wait?

Hopefully, these actions will contain fewer words but have a number of strong measures to prevent the killing of innocent people.

Arkady Mamaysky is a retired mechanical engineer who immigrated to the United States from the former Soviet Union in 1979. He is a frequent contributor to many Jewish publications, writing about Israel, the Jewish people, American and global politics and culture.

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