Editor, The Commercial:

Editor, The Commercial:

The Santa Barbara, Calif., shooting rampage left seven dead and 13 wounded. But three were stabbed to death before the killer shot another three and wounded 13 others before being stopped by a bullet.

America must deal with root causes of violence if we hope to reduce these atrocities. There have always been evil and violent people, and there always will be. But how much freedom are we willing to surrender to achieve "safety" in our society? Banning guns would not make America a safer place. Guns would still get into the hands of criminals. Illegal drugs are banned. How well has THAT worked?

Law-abiding citizens do not use guns illegally or go on rampages. But there will always be those who prey on the helpless. Law enforcement cannot be everywhere. When seconds count, the police are minutes away! If concealed carry had been allowed on and around the Santa Barbara campus, perhaps Elliot Rodger would have thought twice about his nefarious scheme. Certainly the chances of his being stopped early in this slaughter would have been greatly increased.

Abridging the right to keep and bear arms will only ensure a more helpless population in the face of criminal and violent activity by those unconcerned with the law. History proves that an unarmed citizenry suffers from increased crime and violence at the hands of armed criminals and even an oppressive government. Indeed, the Second Amendment was chartered to protect citizens against foreign enemies and a tyrannical domestic government!

Denying freedoms found in our Constitution and restricting the individual citizen’s right of choice will only lead to a never-ending downward spiral of government control, elitist rule and a subservient population of formerly free people.

Richard Williams

Pine Bluff