Mass shootings in America have become almost commonplace, the most recent in Texas and Ohio. After each one, many individuals and organizations express profound sadness and grief and search for answers to the questions of why and what can we do to prevent such tragedies.

The standard reaction from our Congress is to send condolences and prayers, which is reactive and does nothing to address the problem. The reasons for these atrocities are many and varied. Our president points to the internet, violent video games and mental illness. Frequently, it is the result of anger over loss of a job, rejection of some kind or misguided beliefs about religion, race or politics. Many recommend more stringent background checks or looking for signs of mental aberration.

But the common thread is all too obvious. Of course many people will fly into denial with the old saw that “guns don’t kill people, people do.” This is absolutely correct, but guns make it so easy to kill many people in a very short time. But the problem isn’t guns in general and certainly not hunting rifles, target-shooting pistols or self-defense handguns. The problem is the easy, legal availability of high capacity clips and magazines of assault weapons. Remember when the Founding Fathers enacted the Second Amendment, all the rifles and pistols were single-shot weapons. Just saying.

HANS von ALLMEN

Janesville

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