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Focus should be on identifying 'bad people'

Published: August 1, 2012

Clarence Page (Commentary, July 27) is mistaken that more gun laws/restrictions will make a safer society. He says we should improve background checks and restrict magazine capacity and gun sales. What's really needed are better communication and identification of “bad people” — the mentally ill and terrorists. More gun laws/restrictions only deny law-abiding citizens freedoms and make us more likely to be victims.

Page's recommendations would not have prevented attacks like Columbine, Aurora, Virginia Tech and Oklahoma City, or prevent similar future attacks. “Bad people” plan and do bad things with or without guns. We already know they effectively use bombs, planes, etc. These attackers planned these events; they weren't spontaneous violent outbursts. They would get what they need to act with or without guns or gun laws/restrictions.

There were likely signs and signals that these individuals were about to act out in horrific ways. Schools/groups likely had “red flags” that went uninvestigated/reported. “Feds arrest student accused of asking about hiding bodies” (News, July 27) detailed how a student was arrested based on red flags reported by a taxi cabdriver. The student's suspicious behavior was evident before a tragedy occurred.

If action is needed, look for the root cause as to why these individuals are “bad” and how we — individuals, schools, military, government and public sectors — can implement better ways of communicating to law enforcement and better methods of identifying “bad people” so that we can get them help or get them off the streets.

Michael Bollinger, Blanchard