Looking at how to confront mass killings and other gun-related killings, we should examine other situations where an object has been associated with death or harm to others – such as alcohol, and how we try to prevent such harm. We focus here on intoxication and operating under the influence where someone is killed. No controversy over the need to legislate and regulate to prevent such harm. Done in multiple ways, such as age restrictions, penalties for driving under the influence, laws against driving with an open alcohol bottle in the vehicle, even not serving alcohol in late innings of baseball games.

An investigator attaches a cable barrier April 19 at the driveway of a home on Augusta Road in Bowdoin where four people were found shot to death April 18. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Why shouldn’t we also utilize laws and regulations to make deaths less likely regarding firearms? We regulate explosives, food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices. Many understand that regulation can make likelihood of deaths less likely. As with alcohol-related deaths, such measures will not deter all such killings. But more must be tried.

For those who turn to God after gun tragedies, public prayers and condolences certainly will soothe some who are suffering after the deaths of loved ones and friends. But these will not deter future such attacks. Actions are needed.

In the words of President Kennedy, “With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”

Neil Wollman

Paul Sheridan

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