- - Tuesday, October 3, 2017

For society to manage, however imperfectly, who owns firearms is the Gordian knot no one has figured out how to untie (“President Trump calls Las Vegas mass shooting ‘act of pure evil,’” Web, Oct. 2). The lethality of firearms calls for measures to get us from seeming intractability to solution. However, the stark reality is that, with some 300 million firearms (many feeding the underground market) in Americans’ hands, it’s impossible to unring that bell.

Realizing that elimination isn’t possible, the most we can reasonably hope to achieve is to ensure that the requirements for gun ownership are robust enough to minimize the number of guns in the hands of people likely to misuse them for criminally violent or other malevolent purposes. That’s the lamentable reality of America’s past and its foreseeable future.

Although gun owners and special-interest groups are of various persuasions regarding forbearance toward controls and the larger context of Second Amendment rights, overall the dynamic for change is inertia. The challenge remains dismayingly insoluble, with no remedy yet devised by those whose job it has been to think long and hard on the matter. The future of evading such “acts of pure evil” bodes no better.



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