Column: Institutionalize those in need of it to stop killings




The Newtown, Conn., killing of 26 people, including 20 children, is an absolutely horrifying evil that should not only deeply sadden the nation but lead us as well to ask what we can do to lessen the chances of such tragedies continuing to happen.

One solution that is not a solution is some of the trite, attention-grabbing political nonsense about gun control.

Some new state steps on background checks and addressing specific firearm features might be worth trying. But gun control is a mostly fallacious approach, especially when emphasis is placed on so-called assault weapons, and should come in way behind real ways to avoid atrocities.

Chief among them is committing the dangerously disturbed to institutions where they can get the help they so desperately need while the public is rendered far safer.

You begin to grasp the futility of most weapons-curbing plans when you learn that we already have an estimated 300 million guns scattered across the land in something like half of all homes. Short of the impossible, unconstitutional act of confiscating them and banning the sale of any new ones on top of stopping all smuggling, you’re not going to keep them out of the hands of evildoers, crooks and madmen.

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