To the editor:

It could have been me!

The guest editorial by Mr. Underwood on Aug. 17 was steeped in fervent passion, though it was more smoke than fire.

Mr. Underwood was wrong about the number of mass shootings. The FBI lists the number of such incidents as of Aug. 5, 2019, as 17. (Defined as three or more people killed, not including the suspect.)

Also, Mr. Underwood failed to inform you that Ohio law prohibited the patrons of the bar where the shooting took place from being armed. Let that sink in. The drugged-up killer broke multiple laws, while the law abiding were, because they were law abiding, disarmed. Ohio law allowed him to shoot until law enforcement arrived. No armed patron could defend themselves in 2 seconds, or 5 seconds, or 10 seconds. The unintended consequence of laws that promise people a feeling of safety is that those people are in the end, less safe.

I understand the shocking emotional jolt that accompanies the bleak introduction to the reality of evil and that ultimately, we are on our own. This is the broken world we live in and laws cannot fix it. Laws have no deterrence on murderers. Laws cannot mitigate hate. Righteous passion must be directed by understanding.

The last thing we need is more laws that hinder the innocent and embolden the vicious.

Jess Jessup

Waterloo

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