U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy's Dec. 30 Forum piece addresses what can be done to avert mass killings such as those that occurred recently in Newtown, Conn. He focuses exclusively on mental health issues, recommending more research on identifying those prone to commit such horrific acts and to better understand the dynamics of such behavior.
This is all well and good. Few can argue about supporting more research on mental health, but let's face it: This is just another attempt to kick the can down the road and avoid discussing the proliferation of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips in this country. In his article, Rep. Murphy makes absolutely no mention of assault weapons and the obvious, easily implemented fix of requiring background checks for all firearm purchases, including those at gun shows.
Four actions can be taken that would not in any way infringe on the Second Amendment right of citizens to bear arms: 1) ban automatic and semi-automatic assault weapons, 2) halt the sale of high-capacity magazines, 3) require background checks for all gun purchases and 4) limit the frequency of gun purchases to one per month. Delaying effective action will perpetuate the epidemic of gun violence that is plaguing our country.