Opinion | Skepticism About Proposed ‘Red Flag’ Gun Laws

To the Editor:

Re “G.O.P. Gets Behind Bills in Congress for Gun Seizures” (front page, Aug. 7), about legislation to help law enforcement take guns from those who pose an imminent danger:

“Red flag” laws indeed. Just another Band-Aid on a gaping national chest wound. More feel-good legislation so our elected officials can pat themselves on the back and go back to their town hall meetings to tout that they are actively trying to solve this problem. Hardly.

What will solve these horrific mass shootings in our country:

1) Eliminate all assault weapons from civilian hands.

2) Require and enforce background checks on all gun purchases no matter what the sale venue is.

3) Show Donald Trump the door in 2020 and put a president in place who realizes the power of words and uses them not to inflame, but to inspire.

Len DiSesa
Doylestown, Pa.

To the Editor:

Regarding the proposed “red flag” laws, which, one may hope, will recover guns from unstable people, thereby helping to prevent mass shootings:

While I support taking guns from perceived unstable people and gun regulations in general (no one not in the military needs a semiautomatic weapon), these red flag laws will probably not survive constitutional testing. Who on earth can tell what is in a person’s mind and his or her future intention? It’s a slippery slope.

And if these proposed laws do survive, how does one calculate whether they were effective in preventing mass shootings?

It’s a gun advocate’s mild sedative to those who want stronger gun control.

Stephen Schneider
New York

To the Editor:

“What Drives People to Mass Shootings?” (news article, Aug. 6) tries to answer the question on the minds of so many of us after this horrific week. Unfortunately, the article has little definitive to offer. Yet, by suggesting that there is no specific profile of a shooter, it is both race and gender blind.

If the vast majority of these shootings were done by any group besides young white men (who actually make up a small proportion of our population), we would focus on nothing else. I’d say this is a pattern that requires much more attention and thoughtful analysis.

Kersti Yllö
Norton, Mass.
The writer is emerita professor of sociology at Wheaton College.

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