Stephen Paddock shot almost 600 people in 10 minutes in Las Vegas … because he wanted to. He carefully planned and implemented a war on the people of that city and our lax gun regulations permitted him to do it. He amassed an arsenal, set up surveillance, secreted his weapons into a vantage point and rained down carnage onto the greatest number of innocent people that he could.
It is fine for adults of sound mind to own guns, responsibly. This means that they be 18, sound, and with some training. Guns are lethal weapons and as such should be registered; they should be locked up safely when not in use. Most gun owners are responsible and would accept such requirements. They would not be opposed to training for those who own potential weapons, and want guns to be kept away from children and mentally unstable individuals. The NRA should champion these measures.
Gun ownership, like owning any lethal machine (a car) is a privilege reserved for mature, responsible people who are licensed and follow safety regulations. It is not a right afforded anyone in our country who draws breath. The Second Amendment is outdated and should be amended.
Our country has 350 million guns and this number needs to be reduced, slowly, through destruction of all firearms confiscated by law enforcement. This, plus a purchase-and-destroy campaign on the part of the government, has greatly reduced the gun deaths in Australia.
Anne C. Pollitzer
St. Helena Island