The recent shooting in Las Vegas is nothing less than a senseless tragic event. I think we can all agree with that. The item in the news two days after this incident that upset me was that of politicians wanting to use this event as a springboard to tackle our second amendment rights.

At the time of writing this, it wasn’t clear as to a motive the gunman had to carry out this act. However, why do some assume it’s a gun problem? I spent a few minutes online researching some statistics I would like to share.

In 2014, according to the CDC, 614,348 people died from heart disease. In that same year 136,053 people lost their lives to accidents, another 76,488 to diabetes and sadly 42,773 to suicide. The FBI claimed in 2014 that 8,124 people were killed from a gun.

What causes heart disease? Is it lack of health insurance? I’d guess it was poor choices in eating, lifestyle actions and perhaps lack of exercise. In another category, 10,265 died in alcohol-impaired driving accidents. Has anyone suggested the outlaw of alcohol to save lives?

I read that, on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner or about 10 million men and women a year. In fact, intimate partner violence makes up 15 percent of all violent crimes.  

I also found that in 2012 there were 30,700 active gangs in our country with roughly 850,000 members. FBI estimates that 13 percent of all gun violence is gang-related. This activity resulted in 2,363 gang deaths in 2012.

It feels like our society is in need of something bigger. I doubt our politicians have the answer. Is there a common denominator in these acts or do we just make more poor decisions than good ones?

— Mark Rolland, Newton