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Letter to the Editor: Sensible gun restrictions will save young lives

Guns are now the leading cause of death among children 1 to 19 years of age — 4,368 children died from gunfire in 2020.

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The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the Detroit Lakes Tribune by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the newspaper. To submit a letter, email nbowe@dlnewspapers.com. 

To the Editor:

Thanks for re-publishing in the Tribune's June 1 issue an op-ed on school shootings that the Fargo Forum published in 2012. Since that editorial was published, there have been almost 200 mass shooting incidents in the U.S. that have killed a total of more than 1,000 people. Mass shootings are business as usual in the U.S.; there have been at least three in the past two weeks (Buffalo, Uvalde and Tulsa). The editor who penned the op-ed was correct in suggesting it is impossible to completely secure all places of public activity, but his solution, treating mental illness, has been demonstrated repeatedly to be wrong.

America does not have more mentally ill people than other countries, but it does have more guns than any other country, including those in war zones; in fact, there are more guns than people in America.

The U.S. also has politicians who refuse to solve problems. Other wealthy democracies, such as Finland, Norway, the United Kingdom, and Australia, have experienced mass shootings, but only once or twice.


Those countries stopped violence not by strengthening their already good mental and physical healthcare systems; they stopped mass shootings by banning or severely restricting the sale of semi-automatic weapons and ensuring people who bought guns passed background checks and were trained to use and store them.

Guns are now the leading cause of death among children 1 to 19 years of age; 4,368 children died from gunfire in 2020. We need to stop the shooters by taking away the guns they shoot, not by traumatizing elementary school students with active shooter drills. We need to become a country that solves problems again, not one that ignores problems, sends "thoughts and prayers," and buries its dead.

—Ken Brill, Detroit Lakes

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