HILLSBOROUGH: Texas shooting a gun control issue

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Reader Submitted
To the editor:
President Trump asserts that the recent massacre of 26 people in a church in Southerland Springs, Texas, is a mental health problem and not a gun problem. That assertion must be challenged.
The instrument involved was a semi-automatic rifle. If the assailant, Devin Patrick Kelley, had used a hatchet or a knife, of necessity he would have had to be within the congregation. Most likely he would have been quickly overwhelmed and disarmed. The use of this highly lethal gun provided the shooter with a safe distance from the congregation and allowed the rapid delivery of many, many lethal bullets in a very short time frame. This makes this a gun problem, as well as a mental health problem.
Devin Kelley was separated from the Air Force with a “bad conduct” discharge because of violence against his family. This behavior was sufficient to prevent his legal purchase of guns and bullets, yet he was able to obtain a semi-automatic rifle. Attempts to follow gun transfers from manufacturers to the crime scene have been denied by our various legislatures. Similarly, attempts to label bullet casings have been thwarted by these manufacturers and the NRA.
Why is President Trump trying to divert our attention from our country’s gun use policy? He follows the will of the National Rifle Association to maintain the weakest gun laws possible. The final result of averting our attention from reasonable gun laws is 33,000 dead Americans a year and yet another massacre on our conscience.
Amadeo F D’Adamo Jr.
Hillsborough