Expand Homeland Security

to help curb gun violence

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

"If you see something, say something." To whom? Who in overburdened law enforcement is equipped to deal with a suspicion?

Collectively, we know who the people are who will shoot up a school or church. But it keeps happening because the information is not shared. The shooters have access to firearms. Roughly 100 million Americans own at least one gun. We need to focus on the smaller group of people who are likely to commit violence with a gun. Most shootings will be avoided by implementing the following:

1. Create a new division in the Department of Homeland Security to identify potential killers before they act. Recruit 30,000 people from other federal agencies in two main categories: behaviorists and field agents. Widely advertise a toll-free number inviting calls about possible mass shooters from people who know them. The behaviorists would eliminate baseless or malicious calls, but those who pass muster would be the subject of a report sent to the local field agent. Field agents would be attached to police departments across the nation, with one agent for each 15,000 in population, to research these suspicions. Rights are not being violated.

2. Use TV ads to inform people they will be held criminally and civilly liable if their weapons are used in a crime.

3. Emulate Major League Baseball, which decades ago lessened illicit traffic on the base paths by turning the TV cameras away when a drunken fan tried to steal second base. The media should no longer print the name or photo of shooters.

The lives of innocent people will be saved. We can do something logical or pretend to be morally superior by calling for the elimination of guns.

Rod Sterling.

Glen Allen.

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