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The Journal Gazette

Friday, March 02, 2018 1:00 am

Letters to the editor: The gun debate

Arming teachers is a 'cruel, absurd' demand

While I applaud President Donald Trump for convening a listening group on gun violence, I am appalled that he would suggest that having “gun-adept, highly trained teachers” in every school is the answer to stopping school shootings. Think about that. Really think about it.

Training for active-shooter situations is not just a matter of going out to a shooting range and popping off a few rounds at a paper target. It requires special facilities and special instructors. It requires regular practice and recertification. Those things are expensive, both in terms of time and money.

Handguns and bullets are expensive, too. The federal government has already cut funds for school security, so who's going to pay for all that?

More importantly, how dare anyone demand a teacher pick up a gun and shoot to kill? A teacher isn't a soldier or a cop or a member of the SWAT team. A teacher is an educator, a mentor, a nurturer of young minds. Both professions are vital in our society, but it's cruel and absurd to think they can or should be undertaken by the same person.

Candace Schuler

Fort Wayne

Lawmakers again punt on serious issue

Googling “punt gun,” I learned it is typically  a large, smooth-bore, gun with between a 1- and 2-inch bore, and with perhaps a 10-foot-long barrel, mounted in the bow of a punt (a small, low-lying rowboat) and used particularly by market gunners to shoot waterfowl by the flock. This practice is illegal in the civilized world.

A similar description seems appropriate for a recent news item: Automatic gun, typically made for rapid fire of bullets using special ammunition. Used particularly by the military for inflicting indiscriminate and heavy casualties; and more recently by gun enthusiasts and their protagonists extolling their rights under the Second Amendment, resulting in carnage in schools, places of worship and other peaceful public gatherings.

The comparison raises many questions: Are humans less worthy of preservation than waterfowl flocks? Did the punt-gun lovers not pay their National Rifle Association dues? Is our country “uncivilized”?

What would it take to become civilized – perhaps an amendment repealing the Second Amendment just as the 18th was repealed by the 21st? Why is Congress always punt-ing these questions?

Kamala S. Krishnan

Fort Wayne

Firearms essential to fight off oppression

In response to Emily Hollenberg (“Time to turn out NRA-bought politicians,” Feb. 25) and Greg Slyford (“Sickening massacre should spur action,” Feb. 25).

First, where is Hollenberg getting her stats on 1,606 mass shootings (and please define a mass shooting)? I'm guessing it is not the same as the school shootings she mentions and probably includes gun violence in Chicago, Baltimore and other big cities. She also mentions that only assault weapons can be involved in mass killings, which is not true. Trucks and cars and knives and bombs have all recently been involved in mass killings. The biggest reason why was because terrorists didn't like all the news attention focused on guns instead of them so they simply told their followers to change the method of killing to spotlight that it didn't matter how but why.

Now to Slyford. Firearm violence is not even 5 percent of the cause of deaths in this country. He says 96 deaths on average occur every day in this country but fails to mention most are committed in cities such as Chicago, Baltimore, St. Louis and most of our large cities; these cities have strict gun laws. Courts rarely impose the penalties on laws to stop gun violence, especially in big cities.

In almost all of the latest school shootings, law enforcement including the FBI dropped the ball on what might have avoided these tragedies. Everyday citizens are speaking up to stop this, but until people paid to do their job actually do them it will continue to be tough to solve.

It amazes me how law-abiding citizens are the ones everybody wants to make pay for this by giving up their rights, and those who actually commit the acts are victims. The Second Amendment as written was to protect all the others and especially the First Amendment against tyranny from the government. If you have really been paying attention lately, the government may actually be using law enforcement all the way up to the Justice Department to do just that. I'm not willing to give up my rights on anything to find out.

The only reason we need the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 is because the Second Amendment is being abused in many states. In today's society, we don't accept the Constitution anymore. Unlike too many people today, I'm not willing to so easily give up my rights because I know once we lose them we most likely will never get them back. The history of so many other countries that have lost their rights and live under oppression has taught me that.

Steve Carey

Fort Wayne

Stay up to date on NRA's puppets

The slaughter of innocents will never end until our elected officials examine their conscience and pass reasonable gun-control legislation rather than bowing to the will of the gun lobbyists who influence their votes with campaign contributions.

I suggest the media publish a list of all potential candidates and present members of Congress who accept contributions from the National Rifle Association and like-minded groups, keeping it updated until Election Day.

Voters should refuse to vote for these individuals and give our support to gun-control advocates. Until then, the greed of the NRA will prevail.

NANCY CONKLIN

Fort Wayne

More godly society would be less violent

My heart goes out to the victims and families in Parkland, Florida. However, it seems that every time a tragedy like this happens, guns are quickly to blame. While we need to do a better job of keeping dangerous weapons out of the wrong hands, guns are not the real problem. It's our morally faltering nation.

Some of our laws are contrary to God and the Bible. Innocent babies are being murdered in their mothers' wombs. Marriage is being redefined. Prayer is not allowed in public schools. We need to change our laws so they are all in accord with God's laws. It's time to bring God back to the classroom and other places.

Also, the Florida shooter had anger issues. He is someone who could have used counseling. We need to do more to help troubled and mentally ill people before they cause any harm to others. We need to pray for those people that they may stay out of trouble.

Josh Hoy

Fort Wayne

“Assault weapon” is a media myth

I always welcome honest debate on gun control, but the gun banners know they can't win with the truth. They invented “assault weapon” to scare people into banning guns.

The AR is the most popular rifle in America because it is an excellent, ergonomic and customizable hunting, competition and defense firearm all in one.

The evil pistol grip and adjustable stock that define “assault weapon” do nothing more than make the gun more comfortable to shoot.

As long as the media and gun haters glorify the AR to deranged killers, they will be in the news.

Stephen Erwin

Portland

Rapid-fire weapons serve no good purpose

What are assault weapons for besides killing multiple people in a few seconds?

Several people could be dead before a teacher or even a law-enforcement officer could fire.

Ban the multi-shot guns and require an extensive background check before selling any guns anywhere.

Diane Mory

Fort Wayne

Time to get serious on gun violence

Intelligent, reasonable people with the ability to think critically and the willingness to work with others to solve a problem can solve it.

All the condemnation, blame, outrage and name-calling will not make our children, teachers, administrators and school staffs safer.

In a nation as wealthy as ours, our children should be safe in school and in church. Schools and universities should not have to have “active shooter” drills. But as it stands, no child is really safe in school now no matter what their parents' views on gun control are. That is indecent and immoral, and it will happen again unless as a society we take steps to solve the problem.

There is no simple solution. Restricting access to guns alone will not solve it, but reasonable gun regulation may be one part of the solution just as funding a safety net for those who suffer from mental illnesses could help. Anyone who thinks he or she alone has the solution is both foolish and arrogant, and anyone who believes he or she is not in some way responsible wears blinders. This is our society, and our children are not safe in our schools.

We can change that if we want, but all the rants, all the thoughts and prayers, all the official statements of support and the condolences will not move us one step closer to the solution or save our children's lives from the next mad man or terrorist with an assault weapon.

We need to use some common sense, employ reason and be willing to do what is right even if doing so requires a little – just a little – sacrifice or inconvenience for us.

Terry Springer

Fort Wayne