Letters to the Editor

Readers react to Florida school shooting

Attendees raise their candles at a candlelight vigil for the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Feb. 2018, in Parkland, Fla.
Attendees raise their candles at a candlelight vigil for the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Feb. 2018, in Parkland, Fla. AP

Regarding “NC senators got more money from the NRA than most lawmakers. Here’s why.” (Feb. 15): Here’s a modest proposal for Sens. Burr and Tillis: For every mass shooting, how about the two donate the combined $11.5 million they receive from the National Rifle Association to victims?

Is that perhaps too high a price for public servants? Then how about they stop taking NRA money and stop meeting with NRA lobbyists? How about they start listening to law enforcement experts, responsible gun owners, pediatricians, emergency room doctors, parents, children, and everyone else affected by gun violence? Or is it too unrealistic to think that our public servants will ever stop tolerating the slaughter of our children?

Jenny Cook

Chapel Hill

Looking at media

Regarding “There have been threats of violence at 12 U.S. schools, at least, since Fla. shooting” (Feb. 15): In light of the recent school shooting near Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I think it ought to be noted that there are other issues relevant here outside of solely gun control. These mass shooters are generally loners or misfits who feel left behind and abandoned by society. They see mass shootings as a way to find infamy and notoriety, to make a name for themselves.

So, why do all of the major broadcasters and news services devote their entire coverage to each specific shooting? The media is giving the shooters exactly what they crave most. The media does nothing to help the problem. Potential murderers see precisely the same response from the media every single time there is a shooting. The expansive coverage only intensifies the desire of these individuals to commit destructive acts.

Before deriding the gun-control lobby for creating the issue of mass shootings, perhaps news services should examine their own place in fomenting these tragic occurrences.

Jackson Davis


Address mental health

Regarding “Suspect gave off signs of dangerous tendencies” (Feb. 16): Another mass shooting. Seventeen teens dead at the hands of a former classmate. It appears there were warning signs and those signs were noticed, but nothing happened.

President Trump and his fellow Republicans tell us it is not the guns, but mental illness that is to blame for this national epidemic. If we accept that theory, you would think they would be trying to address the nationwide lack of mental health services in order to prevent further tragedies. You would be wrong.

Republicans are behind efforts to gut Obamacare which requires insurers to provide mental heath coverage. We’ll get to buy cheaper policies, but those policies might not cover something so “frivolous” as mental health. They also want to cut spending on Medicaid, which provides care for those who are ill and poor.

Depending on how you parse the numbers, you are something like 1,000 times more likely to die at the hands of another American with a gun than an international terrorist. With the current political situation, I am not optimistic that anything will be done this time either. We need to remember that fact in November.

Ken Jones

Chapel Hill

Don’t blame guns

Regarding “17 dead in school shooting in Florida; suspect, 19, arrested” (Feb. 15): It is sad when anyone dies by any means. I am OK with a serious discussion, but I will not stand by while someone tries to score political points. In some countries that do not allow firearms to private citizens, every single residence and business is fortified with steel bars and electrical barriers and fences. Most people that can afford it hire private security that may be allowed to posses a firearm.

Don’t blame an inanimate object, but every person that failed to act on warning signs prior to this tragedy. That evil person could have easily killed by many other means.

Paul Terrell III


‘Do something’

Regarding “17 dead in school shooting in Florida; suspect, 19, arrested” (Feb. 15): My daughter is afraid to go to school tomorrow. She’s afraid of being shot. She is afraid of being in class, in a movie theater, a crowd.

The fire alarm went off during a high school dance. When the fire doors slammed shut the kids screamed and ran. They thought someone was being shot.

Someone set off a firecracker in the atrium of my son’s school. The students screamed and dove on the floor. They thought someone was being shot.

My daughter and her friends used to play “lockdown.” When the alarm sounded on a phone they would run into rooms and slam the doors and you’d hear them call out “Green!” or “Red!” That’s what you do at school. Practice in case someone is being shot.

Our representatives are in a position to do something about the easy access people have to guns and ammunition. They are in a position to do far more on the issue of mass shootings in this country than offer thoughts and prayers. My children should not have to live in fear.

Our representatives were elected to represent all the people of North Carolina, not just those who have been allowed to arm themselves beyond reason and terrorize the rest of us. If they continue to do nothing about the shootings that have left my children fearful and other people’s children dead, may the gravity of that responsibility haunt their consciences. They can do something about it.

Ellen Scott