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Editorial: Will it ever end? Featured

Editorial: Will it ever end? Image: David Patrick Kelley courtesy of CBS News
Another week, another mass killing.
This may be an exaggeration but it certainly feels like the awful truth. An unbearable truth.
This week proved yet again that the buying and owning of guns in this country has become too lax. Otherwise, how else could a deranged ex-Air Force man who had previously physically abused his wife and child, and escaped from a mental health facility, have had access to a firearm legally?
David Patrick Kelley joins the ever growing list of mentally unsound men who have gone on shooting sprees targeting innocent civilians. In his case, Kelley entered the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas and shot to death 26 parishioners, including an unborn child. Another 10 remain in critical condition as of this writing.
This makes the massacre the deadliest in modern day Texas history.
Kelley committed the heinous act just like other mass murderers of recent years – with an assault rifle.
Everything about his history says that he should never have been allowed to own a gun, much less an assault rifle. Yet he owned the weapon that he used to murder the churchgoers legally.
With every mass murder that occurs in this country, calls to regulate gun ownership rise. The NRA, meanwhile, comes up with a generic statement that expresses sadness at the event, while insisting that guns don’t kill people, people kill people.
This is a faulty argument, of course. It is highly improbable for Kelley to have killed so many people if he had been armed with an ordinary handgun, instead of an assault rifle that was designed solely for use by the military and the police.
We have never said that there should be an absolute ban on guns. Civilians should be allowed to own guns for sport, hunting, or self-defense. But there is no justification for any civilian to own an automatic or semi-automatic assault rifle.
What makes the Texas shooting so tragic is that it occurred in a peaceful, small town where violent incidents are rare. The tragedy resulted in four percent of the town’s population being killed.
President Trump refused to call the killing an act of terrorism, merely the actions of a sick mind. That does not change the obvious fact that Kelley should not have even owned a firearm in the first place.
When, we must ask, will our lawmakers see that there is now an urgent need for regulating the sale and ownership of guns? Specifically, why can’t the sale of assault rifles be controlled?
At best, if the NRA lobby proves too powerful, then maybe the sale and ownership of assault rifles can be limited to men and women who are proven to be of sound mind. Otherwise, we may as well allow even the most criminally insane or deranged person to enter any gun shop and buy the deadliest weapon he can afford.
Time and again we are reminded that there are too many firearms in the hands of mentally unstable people. Unless something is done about this, the unending series of mass murders with the use of assault rifles will never end.
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