Opinion | After the Boulder Massacre, New Calls for Gun Control

To the Editor:

Re “10 People Shot Dead by Gunman Inside a Colorado Grocery Store” (front page, March 23):

How many people have to die in mass shootings before there is the political will to pass reasonable gun control legislation such as a renewed assault weapons ban?

Initial reports suggest that the Boulder, Colo., gunman used an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle. Similar weapons were used in the Aurora movie theater shooting, Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Orlando nightclub shooting, Las Vegas shooting, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and Tree of Life synagogue shooting.

Experience shows that an assault weapons ban would save lives. The number of mass shootings with six or more fatalities fell 37 percent during the 10-year period beginning in 1994 when an assault weapons ban was in effect as compared with the preceding 10-year period. After the ban expired in 2004, the number of mass shootings with six or more fatalities rose 183 percent over the ensuing 10-year period.

Thoughts and prayers won’t stop the bloodshed and tears. But a well-crafted assault weapons ban would reduce the number and lethality of mass shootings.

Stephen A. Silver
San Francisco

To the Editor:

We think we are superior to our forebears because we don’t sacrifice human beings to pagan deities. But every few weeks someone slays eight people, 10 people or 50 people because our leaders tremble before a present-day idol: the National Rifle Association.

Other nations don’t have continual mass killings, only the United States.

Mark Weston
Sarasota, Fla.

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