A uniform definition of ‘mass shooting’ needed

What counts as a mass shooting?

Recently there have been three mass killings: in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton. The day before the Gilroy massacre, there was also a mass shooting in Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York.

So why didn’t we see headlines about this? The reason is that, although 12 people were injured, only one died so it wasn’t a mass killing.Why discriminate between mass killings and mass shootings? I assume the intent is the same: wound and kill as many individuals as possible. And the impact on the general public is the same; it adds another brick in the wall of fear one may have in being out in a public place with others.There is no uniform definition for mass killings. Time Magazine just published a list of 2019 events using the standard of three or more killed. Much of the problem is due to the National Rifle Association. It has a history of pressuring government into not keeping any statistics that might reflect negatively on gun ownership in fear it will promote gun control.

I think it’s time to starting keeping such statistics using a uniform definition of mass shootings based on the number injured, not the number that were killed.

Sherman Schapiro, Blue Lake

We’re the only species that soils our own nests

Gun rights are as sacred in this country as free thought and free speech. Japan allows nearly no guns and (naturally) has fewer shootings than the U.S. In Switzerland nearly everyone has a gun and children can become marksmen. They have far less shootings than the U.S. So it seems it’s not about the gun, it’s about mindset and mentality.

What’s happening in this country? Our children are starting school with bulletproof backpacks! Our oceans are filled with garbage! We’re killing off species meant to sustain us! We seem to be the only species that soils our own nests.

Does our strong economy trump decency, common sense and civility? How many families are divided over their politics? We are the descendants of the Greatest Generation. They fought and died for what we’re throwing away. This is insane! This is sinful! We are Americans! We can fix this!

And … it has been spelled out for us:

“If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then I shall hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin and I will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14.

Genie Wood, Eureka

Time to follow other countries’ lead on guns

Maybe I’m just being too unassuming, practical, simple-minded. But it just appears to me if you keep poking yourself in the eye with a sharp stick you’ll go blind. And maybe we’ve already gone blind; blinded by the now almost-weekly mass shootings in our country. (“Oh … another one of those? So what channel is the Raiders game on?”) We’ve been blinded by the NRA (AKA Not Responsible for Anything) telling us the Second Amendment protects us from tyranny and we all must have our military weapons to thwart takeover by a foreign invader (currently using Facebook and Twitter?) or a tyrannical government when we long ago surpassed the point where a citizen army could compete against government forces. We’ve been blinded by a do-nothing Senate refusing to consider protections supported by 90% of Americans because it’s against their lead party’s platform. We’ve been blinded by a president blaming inner-city problems on the race of the mayors. And we’ve been blinded by our societal trend toward being only concerned over what affects “me” at this moment in time; let future generations fend for themselves.

It’s time to consider what more progressive societies have done, as did New Zealand. Ban private ownership of all military weapons; limit sporting weapon capacities to six rounds; require background checks and licensing of all firearm ownership. I own six guns; two of them will have to go. So be it. Yes, there are hidden dangers, but minimal compared to where we’re headed at this time.

W. Dean Carrier, Eureka

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