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Terrorism or Not, It's More Gun Violence

July 12, 2002

Re "Farewell to LAX Victims Mixed With Grief, Rage," July 8: Many people seem to misunderstand the recent shooting at LAX. Like all homicides, it is tragic. Is it an act of terrorism? No. It was a hate crime, which is equally devastating.

Unfortunately, Hesham Mohamed Hadayet's shooting spree was no different from what has become a trend in United States society. When people are angry and frustrated about something and basically unhappy with their lives, they take out their gun or guns and kill a person or two or three. So often it is the ex-husband who returns to kill his wife and kids or the disgruntled employee, who was recently dismissed, who returns to decimate his former place of employment.

Setting up security screening prior to entering LAX is not addressing the real issue of the recent shooting. Hadayet could have gone to a Jewish retirement home or the Fairfax district. The location is not the issue. Like so many people, Hadayet needed counseling. Like so many people, he probably would not have sought it.

The best solution to these senseless killings is to eliminate private gun ownership. People such as Hadayet legally purchase weapons when they are stable and sane. Then, when a moment of passion strikes, they reach for their weapon and take out their anger on others.

Amy Wilson

North Hollywood

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Why do those who say "put the screening at the doors" not understand that this just moves the target of queuing people outside? What next, move the metal detectors to the offramp of the 405 Freeway? Knee-jerk reactions are not what is needed here.

Why was it not terrorism? Well, simply because the "political" motive is yet unproven. If we define such attacks as terrorism, then we have to define every lunatic shooting innocent people as terrorism. This means that the agency responsible is the FBI, which would be swamped, given the propensity of people in this country for random acts of violence.

Jon Phillips

Torrance

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