After the Newtown shootings a month ago, we encouraged our readers to take part in the discussion regarding the issue of mass shootings.
We followed through with our series “After Newtown.” The last part of that series will be run on Sunday. Over that time span we have had consistent feedback from our readers, but it really took off this past week with the passing of the gun bill in New York, the introduction of the proposed federal gun bill and impassioned pleas regarding guns rights and gun control.
Comments on news stories and blogs on the subject have been especially robust with over 100 comments posted on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Letters to the editor submissions have increased dramatically over the January norm.
I am also seeing an uptick on readers using facts that are not true. It has surfaced again on the Internet that the Newtown shooter did not use a rifle at all in the killings, only pistols. Those were the initial reports the day of the shooting, but we have checked and rechecked this and the police in Connecticut have established that the victims were each shot multiple times by the AR-15 rifle.
In the interest of not perpetuating misinformation we have not allowed comments that insist the pistols were used to kill the children to be published in the comments section.
The other amusing anecdote is the repeated insistence that Hitler banned guns in Germany and this led to the atrocities that followed in World War II. This is also not true. Guns were never banned in Germany. The Germans limited gun ownership by the people they conquered during the war, but that is as close as it got to a gun ban in Germany.
If you look online, there are several blogs and websites that have detailed explanations of the continuing use of this myth in this country.
Here are some interesting links to check out on the subject:
- Ken Tingley