I would like to start a reply to Art Hall's letter, in which he says that more gun control isn't the answer, with two words: Las Vegas. There were 58 dead in a state (Nevada) that has no background checks and requires no license or weapon registration. The perpetrator of the mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California (a state that banned assault weapons, among other stringent laws) bought his weapons in Nevada.
Research has shown that the rate of mass shootings is much higher in states that have fewer restrictions on gun ownership. Florida, for instance, has had six shootings with four or more people dead in the last three years. Then there were El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, places where it is easy to buy, sell and carry weapons. Massachusetts, on the other hand, has very strict gun laws, and has the lowest gun-death rate in the country. So, the states with the most restrictive gun laws do not lead the country in gun violence, and states like Connecticut (Sandy Hook), New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Colorado and California took steps or are pursuing restrictive gun laws to stop the killings.
Clinton's 1994 assault weapon ban was allowed to lapse by Bush, and assault weapons (yes, firearms have changed!) were used in most mass murders.
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It seems that Mr. Hall's letter was more nostalgia than fact.
Albany (Sept. 4)