Letters to the Editor

Reducing mass shootings will require changes. Here are a few to consider.

Community members form a prayer circle at the conclusion of a vigil at the Santa Fe Junior High School stadium Wednesday, May 23, 2018, in Santa Fe, Texas. Eight students and two teachers were killed in last week's attack. (Mark Mulligan/Houston Chronicle via AP)
Community members form a prayer circle at the conclusion of a vigil at the Santa Fe Junior High School stadium Wednesday, May 23, 2018, in Santa Fe, Texas. Eight students and two teachers were killed in last week's attack. (Mark Mulligan/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Make changes

There has been yet another tragic and deadly school shooting, this time in Texas. We now have an established goal – a school shooting – for the twisted mind. And while some of those will be tempted but not act, a growing small percentage will actually go on a killing rampage.

Our current system is too shallow and weak to stop the determined shooter of the future. By tightening gun control laws, by strengthening enforcement, by increasing availability of mental health services, by public postings of call-in numbers to report threatening behavior we send out a message to that future killer.

Making some changes is the only way to lower the number of school shootings.

Deborah Brogden

Raleigh

Make NRA pay

There is a way to protect our children during this interim until we solve the Second Amendment problem in our country: establish airport-like security, with a single entrance and exit in every public school. And require the NRA (and perhaps gun manufacturers) to pay for it.

Let’s see how important to them the lives of our children are.

Jonathan Gerard

Chapel Hill

Stop shootings

Yet another mass school shooting, this time in Santa Fe, Texas. Preventing this from happening again doesn’t mean just thoughts and prayers; they have done nothing. It doesn’t mean chanting Second Amendment to a degree that would have appalled the Founding Fathers; that has done nothing. It doesn’t mean repeating the nonsense proposed by the NRA, which is opposed by the vast majority of Americans, and even by most of its own members – the nonsense that has done nothing.

Ted Cruz said “...we need to be doing everything humanly possible to stop this from ever happening again.” President Trump said he would “protect our students, secure our schools, and to keep weapons out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves and to others.”

So they should do what they say they will by implementing meaningful gun control legislation that will reduce the access to weapons that are only designed to kill and should only be in the hands of our military; and keep rifles, shotguns and handguns out of the hands of children, criminals and disturbed adults.

Ken Berger

Durham

Local solutions

The Columbine High School mass shooting occurred in April 1999, 19 years ago. That’s 19 years for school superintendents and school boards across the country to act to protect the children going to the schools in their charge. Yet 19 years later, a gun-toting criminal can walk into most schools unchallenged and commit mass murder.

The focus seems to be in the wrong direction – looking to Washington DC for solutions is puzzling when decisive and near immediate actions can be taken locally by school officials. The time has come for parents to demand safety for their children. It’s time for students to reflect and realize that it is not Washington DC that makes the decisions for their local schools, it’s the superintendents and school boards. The time has come for law enforcement to hold school authorities accountable for endangering students’ lives by not providing reasonable protections and deterrents against these heinous acts.

The United States spends some of the highest amounts of money per student in the world, yet the result has been only average academic achievement; we are outdone by most of our advanced, industrialized allies throughout the globe. So let’s take some of that money and protect our children.

Parents, through involvement and/or the ballot box need to say enough is enough, our community officials must do what we need to locally to protect our kids – and not wait for some ‘solution’ from Washington DC.

Geoffrey Herbst

Smithfield

Vote for regulations

If our members of Congress want any chance of re-election, they need to say goodbye to the NRA and its money and work for their constituents instead. We also need the state legislature to put better gun regulations in place.

It is not an “if” it happens but a “when” it happens situation for North Carolina. My daughter goes to Enloe High School in Raleigh and they have already had a student bring a gun into school this calendar year. I went to look at colleges this weekend with my daughter who will be graduating next year. I want to be sure she makes it to attend the college she chooses. I honestly don’t know how I would move on if I lost my daughter.

I feel so strongly for these parents who keep losing children to gun violence, and not just in school. I don’t have much power to do anything about it other than try to get my fellow North Carolinians to vote politicians out if they don’t change their ways.

Laura Hitt

Raleigh

‘Root cause’

Crimes committed with guns are wrongly blamed on guns. We need to face the reality that crime is a result of mental health issues, a breakdown of the family, children not being raised in a church, poverty, violence on TV, movies, video games, music, and on and on.

Let’s shift the discussion to attacking the root cause of violent crime.

Paul Keadle III

Raleigh

‘Middle ground’

After the recent tragedy in Texas, I have to wonder how North Carolina Republicans, currently the majority in our General Assembly, will continue to shrug off any sense of duty or responsibility to protect students through common-sense gun control measures.

NC Republicans in general seem content to allow gun proliferation to continue without check – needlessly putting more guns in the hands of individuals that are not prepared to handle such a potentially lethal responsibility.

The NRA and the GOP have done a fantastic job of spinning their propaganda in such a way that, according to their philosophy, there can be no middle ground. Any restrictions, no matter how sensible, are pounced on immediately as an affront and attack on civil rights.

Perhaps it’s time that they started getting offended at the loss of so many children and focusing less on what comes off as promoting gun ownership as a means to increase sales revenue for gun manufacturers. There can be a middle ground. There just has to be the backbone and will to find it.

Garrett Richardson

Raleigh

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