The gun lobby has trotted out the same old arguments after the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

“There will always be mental illness and hatred so limiting guns won’t stop the carnage.” There will always be mental illness and hatred. No matter how many people you institutionalize, imprison and kill, there will always be more. The only factor we can control is how many victims they can harm.

You can’t kill people from a block and a half away with a knife and you probably can’t kill 50-plus in person without a gun. You could build a bomb, but bomb-making materials are banned or monitored and limited for the same reason some guns should be — to prevent mass murder.

“If you stop the public from having guns; the criminals will still have them illegally.” Also probably true. But illegal activity stimulates search activities by authorities and the public can report criminal activity. Leaving weapons that were designed to kill people to be legal only means that there will be weapons for deranged people, that the gun industry has assured us are there, to use without any legal methods of stopping them.

“Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” Should we make all methods of mass murder legal because bombs and chemical and biological weapons don’t kill people? Some people use them to kill other people.

A local doctor echoed the first two of these arguments after the tragedy. Should we not do anything to prevent illness and death because both are inevitable? Do you forgo washing your hands before surgery because the public won’t wash theirs during visitations?

“We will only be safe when we are all armed.” Other than corporate profits, does anyone really see a benefit of everyone carrying an automatic weapon? The predators among us will.

Eric Thompson, Bismarck

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