We need stricter gun laws - East Valley Tribune: Ahwatukee Foothills

We need stricter gun laws

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Posted: Saturday, January 15, 2011 5:00 pm | Updated: 3:23 pm, Fri Sep 16, 2011.

Dear Editor:

In light of the Tucson killings this past weekend, including the slaughter of a 9-year-old girl, we must discuss the issue of guns.

Most Americans, including our Democratic president, are not in favor of eradicating guns. What must be in place are stricter gun laws beginning with the required background check. The current background checks to purchase a firearm are a joke. There is more reference checks involved in getting a job at McDonald's than what is required to purchase a gun.

The killer in Tucson, Jared Loughner, was diagnosed in 2007 as paranoid schizophrenic. Under federal and Arizona law, a mentally ill person is barred from purchasing a gun if the court deems that person is mentally unstable. I guess paranoid schizophrenic doesn't qualify as mentally ill?

The killer in the Virginia Tech shootings (33 deaths) was considered dangerous by a court 12 months prior to his killing spree and was ordered by the court to seek treatment. That information was not forwarded to the federal database/FBI. A week before his killing spree he purchased his arsenal.

The killer in the Fort Hood killings back in 2009 passed a "background check" even though he was on the federal terrorism watch list.

Arizona now allows gun owners to conceal their arsenals without a permit. That means as long as you pass the "background check," you can conceal your weapon without taking courses on how to actually use your weapons.

There is currently a bill in the Arizona Legislature to allow anyone to carry and conceal on college campuses.

It is out of control and now is the time to pause and take action on this issue. To believe otherwise is sad and scary.

Todd Heaton

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