Letter: Stop blaming guns, NRA for Florida shooting

From: Arnold Krause


In reference to Dr. Robert L. Forste’s letter, “NRA, government’s inaction contribute to killing children,” he blames the National Rifle Association and assault-style weapons as the major cause. The typical response is to blame the gun and demand gun control for these tragedies instead of the shooter, the majority which have exhibited a mental health issue.

The FBI identified 160 active-shooter incidents between 2000 and 2013, with 486 killed and 586 wounded. By comparison, opioid overdose deaths by age group 0-24 were 4,110 for 2016. A total of 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016. But illegal drugs are banned.

In 2014, murder victims by weapon were: handguns 5,562, all rifles 248, shotguns 262, knives 1,567, blunt weapons 660. During the 1994-2004 Assault Weapons Ban, murders committed during this period: handguns 65 percent and all rifles 3 percent, with no effect on crime prevention during that period.

The third-deadliest 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech, the shooter killed 32 people and wounded 17 with two semi-auto handguns. Chicago saw 765 handgun murders in 2016; it has the highest number of gun laws, yet had no effect on fewer shootings.

Many are stating the NRA is contributing to the killing of children versus the mentally ill, that are using a firearm.

The NRA offers many programs for gun safety, such as the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program, designed to teach gun safety to children if they ever come across a firearm. Not to mention Crime Prevention Training, Law Enforcement Instructor Training, etc.

Dr. Forste’s letter blames the NRA and AR-15s. Maybe he can explain why medical error is the third-leading cause of death, according to a Johns Hopkins study, with 251,454 yearly deaths by licensed professionals. Should we blame the American Medical Association (AMA) like many are blaming the NRA?

Some in the clergy are blaming firearms and incorrect statics of actual school shootings, but not the shooter? Why are clergy not calling for more religion versus gun control? Could it be that lack of religious observance may be a large part of the problem? Statistics show that church attendance is down from the past.

And finally, where is the blame for the government agencies that failed to prevent the Parkland, Florida, school shooting? It has been reported that school administration, Child Services and mental health professionals, along with the Broward County Sheriff’s Department, visited Nikolas Cruz’s home 39 times over a seven-year period but no action was ever taken. The resource officer waited outside the day of the shooting and never engaged the shooter. Three other deputies arrived and again did not attempt to engage the shooter. The FBI that failed to follow up after two contacts in September 2017 and January 2018, and could have prevented the shooting.

It is estimated that 300 million firearms owned by law-abiding Americans are never used to commit crimes. Licensed Concealed Carry permits in the USA number 16,358,844, while estimates of 100,000 to 200,000 crimes are prevented annually, thus saving lives.