To the Editor:
With the legalization of weapons that can be turned into virtual machine guns, it is no surprise that mass murders are the inevitable result. After each tragedy, there are a lot of crocodile tears shed, but no effort to prevent the next inevitable tragedy.
As a gun owner myself, I understand why hunters need shotguns and why homeowners might feel a need for pistols for protection. There is no such rationale for assault-type weapons. Moreover, we have known for many years how easy it is to turn assault-type rifles with large clips into machine guns with the totally predictable consequence.
The National Rifle Association is primarily responsible for opposing laws that would reduce such tragedies. They have blood on their hands because of their unreasonable selfishness. They try to justify fighting every piece of gun legislation by arguing that murders have dropped as gun ownership has risen. They ignore the fact that the people between ages 18 and 30 have the highest murder rate, and their numbers have declined steadily after the baby boomers aged. They also ignore the significant increase in policing and courts that were added in the 1980s.
Despite the huge increase in mass murders, cowardly Illinois legislators refused to even outlaw bump stocks, such as used in the Las Vegas massacre. Even if they had banned bump stocks, there are a dozen ways to convert assault-like guns to automatic.
Australia and a few other countries have proved that reasonable gun laws dramatically reduce the murder rate. Australia stopped the sale of many such weapons to civilians and instituted a period in which the federal government would buy back existing weapons before making them illegal.
By our inaction, Americans demonstrate we actually care much more to keep our deadly toys than doing something to prevent the mass murder of men, women and children.
Joseph L. Daleiden