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Reducing gun violence requires limits on gun sales as well as help for the mentally ill

Your recent article about the difficulty college students have at campus mental health centers should be mailed to Wayne LaPierre, head of the National Rifle Association ("Students struggle for mental health services," March 8).

Mr. LaPierre contends that all gun-control laws are ineffective and that the problem of gun violence can be solved simply by helping those with mental health problems.

Yet the young woman in your article who tried to get help at the counseling center at the University of Maryland were turned away because the center, like so many others across the country, is understaffed and underfunded.

The NRA has the political muscle to help with recent attempts by state and federal governments to create reasonable gun legislation. But all we hear from Mr. LaPierre is that people with mental health issues are the problem.

Mentally ill people may be part of the problem, but as you reported, it is difficult for many young people to get the help they need. Why can't the NRA see that reasonable limits on gun sales are necessary alongside efforts to get mental health services to those who need it?

Barbara Blumberg, Baltimore

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