It is unfortunate that in the final weeks before the November election, guest columnist Jennifer Stuber is dismissive of Initiative 594, which would close the gun-show and Internet loophole by requiring all gun sellers, not just those who are federally licensed, to check whether a person who wants to buy a gun is prohibited by law from owning one [“Focus on suicide prevention to reduce gun deaths,” Opinion, Oct. 1].
Stuber’s argument goes like this: Most gun deaths are suicides, and most suicides are by firearm, so let’s (just) focus on preventing suicide by firearm.
Don’t forget that we have already agreed as a society that we don’t want people to sell guns to felons and people with severe mental illness. Closing the loophole is not controversial and should be passed.
Then we should, absolutely, turn to questions such as Stuber’s, about how to improve gun safety and storage, which would prevent suicides, prevent gun thefts, prevent youths from getting access to their parents’ guns, and prevent children from finding guns and firing them by accident. Those are all great things to do. They are obvious next steps. But first, let’s keep our eye on the ball and close the gun-show loophole.
Deirdre Gabbay, Seattle