Letter: Learning From the Latest Tragedy

To the Editor:

The Sept. 17 Valley News headline screamed news of the latest tragedy: “13 Left Dead In Shooting At Navy Base.”

The mass shooting at the D.C. Naval Shipyard happened nine months after Newtown, Conn. It happened in our nation’s capital, within earshot of Congress, at a military facility with an armed guard whose very weapons increased the carnage, by a guy who in a sane country wouldn’t have passed a background check. He did, however, have a concealed weapons permit from Texas, even though he’d shot at the truck of a contractor whose workers made too much noise, and he had fired his weapon at his apartment ceiling and later claimed he was cleaning his gun and didn’t know it was loaded. How responsible was he if he didn’t check before cleaning it? Basic questions, really.

Some will claim more guns will fix this, that the status quo is fine. Really?

Expand background checks. Secure guns away from kids. And invest in mental health clinicians, so troubled folks like Aaron Alexis find it easier to get treatment than buy a gun.

We can do better. We must, or the inmates will continue to run the asylum.

Bob Williamson

South Woodstock