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People, not guns, are responsible

Romila Khanna
Saturday September 08, 2001


I was really surprised to read in the Berkeley Daily Planet about the call for gun manufacturers’ to be held responsible for irresponsible design and marketing of their product, which is a nuisance the community. 

I feel that persons who use a gun to kill should be held 100 percent responsible for their acts of shooting and killing others. Any rational person would think twice about the use of a gun in harming others. I sometimes wonder, if we transfer the civic duties and responsibilities to others and blame and punish them, we will never be able to stop such unkind and cruel acts as shooting and killing others. By blaming the manufacturer, we are transferring the blame of a criminal act of one person (who is a killer) to the whole company. It will not stop this kind of cruelty in the future. 

We must revise our method of imparting civic education to all public agencies, colleges, schools, to let everyone remember, we don’t have any right to take away someone’s life or hurt someone. Guns are for protection. They are to be used for protection only. They should not be used to kill or hurt others. There should be very strict laws. Local, state or federal laws can only be respected by people of any land if children, youth and adults understand that each one of us is a member of society, and we must follow the existing laws for peace and safety. Value-oriented education is the answer to improve irresponsible behavior. 

I feel that no company or gun manufacturer is responsible for any shooting. If anyone in a fit of anger or under the influence of a mind altering drug, shoots or kills others and commits a crime, that person should be held responsible because that person made a personal decision to shoot or kill. 

In order to change the prevailing attitudes of those who use guns to kill others, law enforcement agencies should be more strict. They should get involved in public education systems and impart civic education to children and to young adults in the schools. 

Preventive programs such as anger management skills to teach them how to reduce tension and settle disputes, without using guns can help. Guns are a means for protection and should be only used sparingly by law enforcement agencies. 

Romila Khanna