It is also important to remember that the biggest threat from the dangerously mentally ill is not to the public, but to themselves. There are more suicides annually than murders.
Moreover, rifles, including the AR-15 assault-style rifles, are involved in only a few hundred cases of the tens of thousands of murders and suicides every year. Bloody year after blood-drenched year, handguns are many times the killers that rifles — of any type — are.
I know that AR-15s can kill more people at a time than other weapons, but once you go down the road of banning tools, there’s no good place to stop. There’s always another atrocity to start the cycle over again. Gun-control-happy New York has knife control, too. The United Kingdom, after banning nearly all guns, has turned to debating the kinds of knives people should be able to own.
The idea that the gun-banners of the Brady Campaign and Moms Demand Action will stop at assault-style rifles is preposterous. They know the toll of sorrow sowed by handguns as well as I do.
With 18 dead and more wounded in Maine, we have to look for solutions while respecting civil rights. Red-flag laws are a reasonable step that all states should take to head off the next tragedy.
If someday, depression gets the upper hand on me and I am a threat to myself or others, I hope someone will speak up and have the power to remove my gun. I want to live — and I want you to live, too.
— David Mastio in I Am a Mentally Ill Gun Owner