Letter to the Editor: Race Has No Place in Gun-Law Debate

Charlotte and Harriet Childress falsely claim that "nearly all of the mass shootings in this country in recent years . . . have been committed by white men and boys." ("Mass murders a white-male, not mental-health, issue," April 2).

In reality, mass killings have also been committed by nonwhites, such as Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho, Beltway sniper John Muhammad, Long Island Rail Road shooter Colin Ferguson, and Wisconsin's Chai Soua Vang.

The Childresses speculate that "if African-American men and boys were committing mass shootings month after month, year after year . . . we'd have political debates demanding that African Americans be held accountable." That seems unlikely: Despite the high proportion of shooters who are already African-American – nearly half of all murders are committed by blacks, who are only 13 percent of the population – no such calls for "accountability" have occurred, nor should black people as a group be held responsible.

Since 78 percent of all Americans are white, the fact that some mass killers are white males is hardly a surprise, much less a reason to blame "white male culture" or "hold them accountable," as the Childresses seek to do.