Letters to the Editor

Letters: Gender’s role in mass shootings + NRA + congressional inaction

Gender’s role

Re “Las Vegas shooting must, finally, stir Congress to act. But will it?” (Editorials, Oct. 3): Men compose 95 percent of mass shooters and are the perpetrators of the overwhelming majority of the country’s violent crime. So when we debate factors that could have influenced Stephen Paddock, why do we never talk about his gender? To do so would require us to look past biological differences and consider, as countless feminists have, the question of what our culture is teaching about violence and masculinity. If Omar Mateen’s attack in Orlando warranted a weeklong televised discussion about the role of his religion, then it’s absurd not to spend even a couple minutes talking about something he has in common with nearly every other mass shooter.

Thomas Purdy, Roseville

Don’t blame NRA

I am not surprised that the usual misguided blame game has begun with insults against the National Rifle Association, and laying the blame for this awful crime on law abiding citizens that happen to use firearms responsibly. Laws on the books are more than adequate, except that they are not enforced. If you purchase an automobile, there is no background check or waiting period. If you turn it into a weapon, people sue. Like the NRA, which advocates for the responsible use of firearms, car insurance companies advocate safe vehicle operation. When there is a tragedy involving automobiles, should an auto insurance company be pilloried?

Andrew Mattson, Roseville

People must act

On TV, we are swamped with commercials aimed at helping us cope with human ailments involving hips, knees, heart, COPD and more, but practically nothing to treat this national sickness we exhibit of solving our emotional problems with guns. Homicides continue. In Tuesday’s Sacramento Bee editorial we read: “Thoughts and prayers are all well and good. But they’re only lip service if we don’t take the actions we know we must take.” But will we as we wait to add another community to our list of mass killings? If Congress won’t act, then it’s up to us.

Jack Pelletier, El Dorado Hills

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