In response, “Support efforts to end gun violence," (June 4), I am surprised at the misrepresented gun violence statistics. While we all are shocked and dismayed at the gun violence that has permeated our society since Columbine High School, very little has actually been done to stop such violence.

The authors of the article on behalf of “Napa Valley Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America” ask for awareness by wearing the color Orange and claiming to be a “non-partisan group supporting gun violence survivors and working for common sense gun laws.”

If that truly is the case, why distort the statistics in your letter to the editor? 2017 saw 39,773 deaths by firearms, 2/3 or 66 percent of those, or 26,250 were suicides. Of those 8,030 are the veterans who, at 22 a day, are suffering from PTSD and taking their own lives. A self-inflicted act of violence.

The remaining 13,523 acts of gun violence can be broken down into several categories; criminal vs. criminal, criminal vs. cop, and deranged individual vs. innocent.

Between the federal and state laws, we have somewhere north of 25,000 laws on the books describing anything and everything that is illegal to do with a gun. As a matter of fact, politicians and well-meaning citizens keep demanding the same solutions year after year, more laws with zero effect. They go after the inanimate object and disregard the behavior.

In the 20 years since Columbine, it has become clearer that there are signals given by behavior as warnings. Columbine, Virginia Tech, Parkland, and many others all exhibited behavioral issues that went unchecked.

The Virginia Tech shooter who killed 32 people was known to the leadership of the school to have severe issues even after a medical evaluation. They allowed him to continue in school. They hid his illness even from his parents and did not allow the information to be reported to the authorities, which would have prevented him from buying the firearms used in his murder spree.

Virginia Tech’s leadership and Parkland’s leadership both failed to recognize and provide the help needed by these young adults/children. Laws will not prevent these events; 20 years of enacting failed laws is proof of that. Anyone who tells you differently is lying to you.

Fixing this is behavior based and reporting the behavior to make sure these people cannot make legal purchases. The systems, laws, and mechanisms are already in place. They just need to be used and enforced.

Mark Gasster


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