Politicians must feel constant pressure on guns

As a military veteran, I’ve fired my share of automatic and semiautomatic weapons: single fire, bursts of three and occasionally full-auto. As an American civilian, I support the right to bear arms.

I also believe the Second Amendment when it says that a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state. So long as any angry 18-year-old or disturbed adult can get his hands on a semiautomatic weapon and walk into a school, church, store, synagogue, office, hotel, nightclub, courthouse, factory, etc. and shoot another dozen of us, we are not well-regulated, and our state is neither free nor secure.

The short range “solutions” our NRA-supported officials suggest after each tragedy are at best a finger-in-the-dike approach. They argue about whether plugging this hole or that one would or would not have prevented the previous mass shooting. The sea of assault weapons keeps pushing harder and harder against our pitiful levees, and our officials stand around with their respective fingers in their favorite hole. We need them to focus not on the past, but on preventing the next shooting, and the next, and the hundred after that.

We must hold our elected state and federal officials’ feet to the fire. Call them, email them, write them or sign the many online petitions insisting they pass some common-sense gun regulations:

1) Demand red flag laws in every jurisdiction.

2) Require background checks for every purchaser.

3) Raise the minimum age to purchase semi-auto weapons to 21.

4) Advocate for safer gun storage.

If they don’t deliver, un-elect them. Vote. Encourage everyone eligible, regardless of gender, age, race or party affiliation, to vote. In a democracy, if we don’t vote, we deserve whatever we get. If enough of us vote, maybe we’ll gradually get both the freedom and the security we and our children deserve.

Floyd Guffey

Fort Wayne

Failure to vote deepens nation’s crisis

In an era where mass shootings are becoming commonplace, the latest is unbelievably appalling. Again, politicians mouth platitudes and wring their hands while the gun lobby becomes silent. Again, we send prayers and condolences to parents suffering inconsolable loss.

It appears we are a nation whose leadership has abandoned us. Recent events indicate that what the people want is largely ignored by those we have elected to serve us. Two thirds of us believe that a woman should have the right to choose what happens to her body, yet half of the states in the country are passing laws to deny this right.

Almost 90% of us believe we need stricter gun laws, yet no such laws are passed as the gun lobby holds us captive.

It appears that those we elect to do things for us are instead doing things to us. Change will not come under the current system.

Money controls our government, and we seem powerless to stop this state of affairs. Our only remedy is our vote, and fewer of us vote now than ever. Our apathy at the polls is the true cause of these disasters.

Edward J. Frank

Fort Wayne

Automatic weapons ban is key to change

So Republicans think the best defense in these mass shootings is a “good guy with a gun.” Well, there were 19 good guys with guns in Uvalde, Texas, and it didn’t stop one bad guy. That’s because the bad guy had an AR-15.

So the real answer to stopping these bad guys is to ban the manufacture of AR-15s and similar automatic weapons. Bans have worked in Australia, Britain and Sweden. The 1994 ban in the U.S. contained some loopholes but did achieve a degree of success in banning the manufacture of automatic weapons and reduction in mass shootings.

Banning automatic weapons is not a threat to taking anybody’s gun away.

Gerald Young

Fort Wayne