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I’m all for “common sense” legislation to reduce gun violence in America. In fact, I have some suggestions.

Since more than 60% of annual gun deaths are suicides, how about we tackle the obvious mental health crisis in this country? In the mid-1960s the federal government started withdrawing funding to states for state-run mental health institutions. The states began closing these facilities and by the 1980s they were all gone. The theory was that community health clinics would be opened to fill the gap, but that never happened. That should also go a long way to curbing the spate of mass shootings we’ve experienced in the last 20-30 years.

How about we tackle the welfare system that incentivizes single motherhood, indirectly causing the gun-related gang violence in the inner cities? The nuclear family (father present in the home) is essential to fill the gap in the lives of inner city youth that they end up seeking to fill by joining gangs.

How about we get rid of the nonsense of creating all these soft targets (gun-free zones) that are so attractive to criminal activity? Ask any security or military professional how to defend against an armed attack, and not one can, in good conscience, say the answer is to disarm the defenders.

How about we teach gun safety and responsible gun ownership in the schools so that our children know how to interact with guns in a safe manner instead of teaching them to loathe and fear guns?

How about we embrace and encourage gun ownership in this country in order to discourage criminal activity? It is a fact that the most violent areas of the country currently, are the places with the most restrictive gun laws.

But no, instead they come after AK-47s and AR-15s. According to the FBI statistics, in 2019 less than 3% of gun deaths were due to rifles (all rifles not just the ones that they are trying to ban). More people were killed with blunt instruments (hammers and such) than with rifles.

How about we try some things that just might actually work and leave my damn legally owned guns alone? They are not the problem.

Kevin Rucker

Hamlin, W.Va.

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