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Letter of the Day: Gun violence

  • (NICK ANDERSON / Houston Chronicle)

Gun violence

EDITOR: Some thoughts on gun control.

On video games: Much is being made of the dangers of video games as contributors to gun violence, in particular the mass murders that make the national news (as opposed to the individual deaths in poor neighborhoods that rarely do).

Are we confusing correlation with cause? Do the disturbed (mostly) young men who play these games and wind up killing dozens suffer mental illness as a result of playing games, or are they attracted to the games by their mental condition?

If the games do warp judgment, given the number that are sold, why are there not more mass murders?

And why are games a mental health hazard but not hunting, which features actual killing?

On background checks: Some of those speaking against universal background checks for gun purchases argue that the existing background checks have not been 100 percent successful and that, thus, extending the program will do no good.

Existing stoplights at intersections are not 100 percent successful; people run red lights from time to time. Should we then decide never to install any more stoplights? Universal background checks will not solve the problem, but they can help.

BILL HOUGHTON

Sebastopol

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