The deadly use of firearms by mentally deranged individuals has been on the rise these past several years. It is indeed a horrible development, and the span of proposed solutions is very broad indeed.

Some blame the NRA and legal firearms protection. Their solution is to ban as many guns as possible, beginning with the ever-popular assault rifle. The result of doing so would usurp the right of legal and responsible firearms owners. As there are many illegal ways to obtain firearms, banning legal means does not solve the problem.

Some blame the current state of treatment for mental illness. What a plethora of issues are involved with this. Under current laws, it is very difficult to involuntarily commit a person to a mental health facility. People who are mentally ill and who also commit crimes are not easily taken out of our mainstream community to prevent them from doing harm to themselves or others.

Some blame the legal system; judges who are too lenient, lawyers who will “get people off” by skillful practice of their profession. As judges are appointed and have life tenure, removing them is very difficult. As for lawyers, where there is a way to make a dollar and/or a reputation for successful defense of persons charged with felonies, good luck changing that.

Some blame the media for over-hyping the events and the perpetrators. Night after night, day after day, videos of such horrible events are shown over and over again. One wonders what this barrage of visual images does to the deranged mind. Does it insert the notion that committing such an atrocity would bring great attention to a person? Does it present a means to one suffering from paranoia to “get even” with his or her tormentors?

What if the result of causing death and injury by wanton discharge of firearms was immediate life incarceration, followed by execution by the state or federal government? Perhaps the execution could also be videotaped and shown on media outlets. Would that be a deterrent to those who would commit such horrors?

We will never know unless the feckless officials who value votes above moral courage to do the right thing retire from office and are replaced by those who have the will and courage to make changes in our laws that permit heinous criminals to be executed.

It has been said that capital punishment is not a deterrent to crime. I am not sure that is provable.

However, the heinous criminal who committed murders of innocents and is subsequently executed will definitely not do so again.

Daniel J. Farren Jr. lives in Forestdale.