Any reasonable person is saddened by the tragedy in Falmouth in which a good family has been torn apart by gun violence.

Only time will tell the state of mind of the alleged perpetrator. Only time will tell what could have been done, what will be done.

But, please, Bill Nemitz (“Gun seller’s gut is last defense against tragedy,” May 8), do you really believe that this tragedy could have been averted by asking, “How do you plan to use this gun?” Would you really suggest that some Cabela’s employee failed his or her duty as “the last defense”?

Why is it, do you think, that we are unable or unwilling to accept the fact that it is not the gun or the seller of the gun but the user of the gun who is solely responsible for his or her actions, regardless of state of mind?

How can we ever stem violence in any of its forms without assigning responsibility to the perpetrator? Murder is not the fault of the federal or local governments, the mental health providers, the sporting goods merchants or the victims.

William Hobbs is a resident of Portland.