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You ask: How do you keep weapons out of the hands of those "who are likely to harm others without infringing on average citizen's rights?" This question was coupled with your Sunday editorial advocating for restricting gun sales to "potential criminals." Well, first of all, how do you identify a "potential criminal"? What behavior and/or mental health diagnosis would you use to determine this? If such a law is enacted and the definition of a "potential criminal" isn't strictly delineated, then you have a law that invites abuse. People could use it to punish someone they are having a conflict with. To avoid this, you'd have to have a provision in the law for some sort of judicial review where the accused can present his side of the story. Even then, if it's determined that a person is a threat to others, would this ban on firearms be forever? Would a person with a temporary problem have his/her rights taken away permanently? (By the way, we already have a law on the books where a person can be locked up in a mental health facility if it's determined by a judge that person is a threat to himself or others!)
Besides, even if a person can't buy a firearm from a store with an FFL, there are plenty of other ways to get a gun. Most criminals get their guns from friends, associates, family members or just plain stealing them. You can see that even if you have such a law then a person intent on lethal mischief can easily defeat it.
If you want to lower the number of mass shootings, one might start by asking the question: What would motivate a young man (for that's who they usually are) to embark on a course of action that can have only two outcomes for him -- death or lifelong incarceration? Once you answer that question then you have a key to stopping a lot of this mayhem without infringing on the gun rights of the American citizen!
HAROLD SCHULTZ, Riverton