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About Gun Violence

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I have waited for a while to respond to the letter, "License to Shoot" (March 15), so I could be accurate and not emotional. First, I want to prevent violence, not just "gun" violence. The 33,000 gun deaths are mostly suicides. I thought progressives were for suicides?

The writer does not seem to know how hard it is to purchase a firearm in California. The background checks, waiting periods and, yes, a safety test to buy a handgun, too. I don't think anyone should own a firearm unless they can load, chamber, unload and safely clear it blindfolded. Just my opinion. 

Yes, mentally unstable people should not have firearms ... now tell me how we accomplish this and I'll support it. Banning the scary AR-15 won't stop violence, they are already banned in California. I ate, slept and lived with an M-16 and CAR-15 for two years in Vietnam, yet I have never owned one. I don't find them practical for hunting and don't like the ballistics for home defense. But that is my choice and neither I nor the government should infringe on anyone's choice. What about pump or lever action arms? Want to ban them too? And most murders are done with handguns in the hands of criminals who will never follow any law.

Finally his future sociologist's blanket condemnation of "toxic masculinity." All boys, teens and young men need a biological father to guide them. In the military we call them sergeants. But the disintegration of the family has removed the fathers and grandfathers from that role. It isn't cool to be a family man now. Casual sex and being more concerned over one's penis is more important than one's soul. Young males get their models from Hollywood and hip hop, where being a foul-mouthed jerk and treating women like objects is the norm. Bad manners are celebrated and watching movies or playing games that make killing people no big deal. Young males are given all the wrong messages on how to be a man. Add that the social media and computer screen and we have an anti-social human with no mature male guidance and no ideal how to deal with women, emotions and society.

We do not have a gun violence problem, we have a violence problem. And unfortunately, it is done by young males who have had little direction given to them by older men. Take away all the AR-15s and you will still have violent young men who may turn to bombs, poisons, blades or whatever they can get legally or illegally. Stop the bumper sticker chants and emotional responses and deal with the real issues.

Eric Cortez, Eureka



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