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NEUFELD: Only way to stop gun violence — remove guns

To the Editor:

With all the talk about how to stop gun violence, no one seems able to admit the truth, and this can only be because of one of three reasons: 1. They don't want to offend anyone. 2. They're too used to the way things have always been. 3. They're overlooking the obvious.  
 
You can't stop gun violence by removing certain types of guns or magazine capacities. This still leaves guns (and ammunition) everywhere! The only way to stop gun violence is by removing guns from society — period! Guns should only be in the hands of people who use them for their work — police, the armed forces and no one else. But no one will admit this, lest they incur the wrath of the NRA.  
 
Hunters who say they need guns for their "sport" are kidding themselves. A sport is something that involves exercise and sweat. Unless I'm wrong, I don't think it's much of a workout to move your index finger by pulling a trigger, is it?  And hunters don't "need" guns to provide meat for themselves. We are not living in 18th-century America. There is meat in the grocery store these people can buy, just like anyone else. So that argument falls flat on its face as well.  
 
The idea of teachers arming themselves is beyond comprehension, supporting the psychotic contradiction of stopping gun violence by having more guns. The only purpose of a gun is to maim or kill something. If you can't admit this, then you are either delusional or dishonest. As a mental health professional, I can tell you that anyone with a normal amount of self-esteem and confidence would not be so obsessed about insisting on his/her gun ownership rights. The majority of people with mental health issues are not violent. Most of them are depressed, and lack the energy to be violent.
 
It would take work and dedication to systematically get rid of guns in this country, even though other civilized countries have done so and, as a result, have far lower rates of violent crime than we do. 
 
Finally, consider the obvious — without guns, you can't have gun deaths, rendering the ridiculous cliché “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” on the ash heap where it belongs. Yes, guns don't decide to kill people...people do.  But they can’t do it without the guns!

ROBERT NEUFELD, Ph.D.
Northfield, formerly of Ottawa

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