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Opinion: We can’t blame mental health while AR-15s are on the streets

Aside from all other arguments about gun control, deadly weapons like an AR-15 should not be available for civilians to purchase

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Three law enforcement officers stand outside of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

Law enforcement personnel stand outside Robb Elementary School following a shooting, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. The shooter entered the school with an AR-15 semiautomatic assault weapon. Nineteen children and two teachers were killed.

Dario Lopez-Mills, Associated Press

I am a 75-year-old U.S. Army veteran, hunter and rifle owner.

Civilians don’t need weapons of war. Unfortunately, some think we need assault rifles, and politicians have mistakenly bowed to their desires. The bullets fired from an AR-15 are far deadlier than those of other long guns. Gun violence in the U.S. is shameful and long overdue for action.

The first thing to do is stop the sale of automatic and semi-automatic weapons. The Second Amendment does not grant a right for automatic weapons. Congress made them legal 18 years ago, and that was a big mistake. 

Second, provide funding to buy back automatic weapons from the citizens that own them. Other democratic countries have successfully done so. 

Third, there should be serious background checks on those purchasing lethal weapons, and there should be a waiting period to accommodate the check.

The purpose of the Second Amendment is self defense. The purpose of an AR-15 is to kill lots of people.

I’ve heard the remarks blaming mental health. During the last two weeks, the shooters in Buffalo and Uvalde were not from mental institutions and had no mental medical record. The politicians blaming mental health are going to lead us away from the honest truth of our gun violence problem.

Robert Klarich

St. George