Letter to the editor:

Mental health is a red herring

President Donald Trump wants more focus on mental health issues. On another front, he has even dared to confront a good section of his political base: white nationalist hate-mongers. Trump castigating his most loyal and reliable voters?

The main issue, though, is not mental health. And policing mental health is problematic. How do you prevent a handful of crazies out of 327 million Americans from committing mass murder?

The issue is that instruments of mass murder are legal in this country. In New Zealand, within days of the massacre at a Christchurch mosque, parliament voted 119-1 to ban assault weapons. And the government offered to buy back such weapons from those willing to part with them.

We must ban the sale, importation or transfer of assault weapons. And all owners of assault weapons must apply for a license to continue owning them. To be granted a license, they should be able to prove that they need those guns for protection.

Those who cannot justify owning assault weapons must sell their weapons to the government.

Without the banning of assault weapons and the requirement to have a license to own them, mass shootings will continue. And Trump or his successor will go before the cameras and continue to delude the country and communicate fallacies.