I am responding to Jackie Merranko's April 14 letter ("Let's Put the Blame Where It's Due"). She wrote, "A gun left by itself is useless" and "A gun is no different than any instrument in your home that could be used as a weapon" and "It's time to stop blaming inanimate objects and other people for this tragedy." This seems to be the common excuse for not making sure that disturbed people like the killer of the Pittsburgh police officers are unable to purchase guns, especially assault-type weapons.
Using this logic, let's substitute the words "rocket-propelled grenade" or "bazooka" for the word "gun" in your sentences. This clearly demonstrates the absurdity of this excuse. Taken a step further, why should the U.S. worry about Iran or North Korea having a nuclear bomb if it's just an "inanimate object"?
The sad truth is that guns - just like rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons - are very different in the hands of people who want to inflict serious harm. The entire purpose of an automatic or semi-automatic weapon is to be able to hit the target in rapid succession, giving the shooter the upper hand because the person or object being shot at cannot respond. There is plenty of blame to go around and it starts with the gunman, Richard Poplawski. But if he had not been able to purchase the AK-47 that he used, maybe our heroic officers would have had the chance they deserve. And the blame for that is on all of us.