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Focus on gun safety can prevent deaths
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

On Monday, Sept. 16, Aaron Alexis killed 12 people in the historic Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. Though many people may claim that this is yet another reason why gun use in America should be restricted, maybe they should recognize what drove him to commit such a crime.

It turns out that Alexis claimed to hear voices and was mentally unstable. Police reports have also said that there is surveillance footage of Alexis leaving the men's restroom with a shotgun. Maybe if people had been paying attention at the time, they could have stopped the attack earlier before anyone was killed.

There is really no way to completely prevent people who mean harm from having access to firearms. However, rather than asserting the black-and-white, guns-are-evil viewpoint, we should instead focus on gun safety. According to the Boy Scouts of America, guns are instruments that are "manufactured to perform a specific task and can do so at no risk to the user or others."

The more we learn about guns, appropriate gun use, and firearm safety, the more equipped we will be to make informed decisions and to exercise caution. Education is the best remedy for fear.

Rachel Simmons

Salt Lake City

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