Letters to the Editor – The Gun Safety Debate Continues

Cut the noise

Our leaders need to stop saying ‘gun control’ and say ‘semi-automatic weapons and expanded magazine control’. Civilians do not need military equipment at any time! We must cut short the verbal game and all be representative and responsible. As a nation of good people, let’s solve these lewd shootings and senseless killings with immediate legislation and responsible laws.

Hank Evers, McKinney

Strive to be better

For starters, I’m a veteran and responsible gun owner, licensed to carry in the state I lived in before moving to Texas. Based on the many surveys I’ve read, there seems to be a gap between what Texans want and what the Legislature (and the Governor) is willing to do.

“Hardening” schools as targets is of limited effectiveness in preventing mass shootings, as shooters will simply move on to “softer” targets: malls, supermarkets, hospitals, etc. If we can’t get the legislature to do otherwise, what about a statewide referendum on common sense gun control and other contentious issues? A referendum could allow lawmakers to sidestep divisive politics that are hampering change.

If the government refuses a referendum, should we consider an organized petition? These things may not be achievable in today’s environment, but could perhaps start a new conversation. It just seems like we should be striving to be better, rather than maintaining the status quo.

Dan Siculan, town of Royse

Ways you can help

Sideline experts insist that the real issues are that we don’t have prayer at school and the family is breaking up. I taught nearly four decades at Dallas ISD and there were countless Muslim, Protestant Christian, Catholic, Jewish and Hindu students. What prayer will solve the problem? (I am a Protestant Christian.)

Many caring grandparents and extended family members raise children. Families are no longer alike. Public school teachers, counselors and principals meet students where they are, unlike private schools which may ask students to leave for bad behavior.

How can we help? Ask real teachers, counselors and principals for their opinions. Refer struggling families to agencies for help, especially families in crisis. Train parents on how to access their child’s social media accounts. Add more qualified counselors to all campuses and let them do their job.

Ban the sale of semi-automatic rifles to teenagers and add timeouts for buying guns! Fully fund public schools. Jason Villalba, thank you for saying yes to public schools and no to gun lobbies!

Mary Ann Macsisak, East Dallas

We need to make progress

Re: “Stop This Madness – By Passing Sensible Gun Regulations, We May Be Able To Prevent The Next Uvalde”, May 26 editorials.

Thank you for publishing this editorial. It should be read by all Americans, especially Texas Republicans. You suggested lots of common sense gun regulations (federal and state background checks, raising the age requirement for buyers, reinstating a federal waiting period, ending carry without a license laws and open in Texas, passage of statewide red flag laws) that the vast majority of Americans would accept.

I would add to this list the reinstatement of the ban on semi-automatic weapons. I also commend you for calling out Republican politicians for their neglect of gun violence. Their hypocrisy must be rejected. They claim to be “pro-life”, but in practice they are not by supporting and facilitating the spread of lethal weapons.

People with guns kill people. People with military style weapons kill a lot of people, including children. Now is the time to act. Voters in the upcoming elections this year must reject pro-gun Republicans if we hope to move towards a safer and healthier society.

Kenneth G. Alfers, Duncanville

Participate to help your school

It is obvious that we rely on the wrong people to keep our children and teachers safe. Maybe it’s time to look for alternatives to avoid another horrible headline.

A few suggestions to get the ball rolling: First, use taxes (and a portion of gun sales) to provide equipment and protection to schools in the districts where they are sold. Proceeds from online sales could flow to the buyer’s district. Second, take a page from Curtis Sliwa’s Guardian Angel Handbook or learn about the actions of Louisiana High School Duty Dads. Stop blaming others after the fact and face the problem. Third, create a GoFundMe page for your school to raise money for metal detectors, CCTVs, gun sniffing dogs, and more.

Public schools are ridiculously underfunded and most cannot afford the extra expenses. I constantly read of teachers spending part of their meager salaries to equip their classrooms.

Judy Hays, vine

Do birds have privileges?

In Texas, large capacity magazines are permitted unless the firearm is being transported to an area where migratory game birds are present. In such a location, by regulation, a barrel cannot contain more than three cartridges. Why is it acceptable to protect game birds, but not humans?

Dwight Corley, Dallas/Preston Hollow

Civilians don’t need these weapons

My father was a duck hunter. I waded in hip boots through the Louisiana swamps to help him build a duck blind with woven bamboo from our yard. Only once did I try to shoot his gun. The sound and the kick were enough to stop me from doing it again. Upon learning that I am a cross dominant, I quickly realized that I would never succeed in killing anything. I don’t have a problem with that.

I have a problem with the justification of owning a semi-automatic rifle if you are not in the profession of protecting our country. Why would I need it? There would be nothing left of a duck if I used one to kill him. Why would an 18 year old or, for that matter, a 21 year old not in the military need a gun of this caliber?

Neuropsychologists tell us that the brain is not fully developed until the age of 25. Reasoning ability and impulse control are part of self-care. I maintain the second amendment; however, there must be an amendment limiting the availability of weapons of war to anyone other than those who protect our country. And I expect a lot of criticism for my opinion, but that’s what makes America great. The capacity for civil discourse, which we seriously lack.

Anne Davidoff, Plano

Please act elected

Dear elected officials: Tuesday, May 24, 2022 was a shameful day for Texas. I am sickened by the tragedy of yet another school shooting, the murder of innocent young children and teachers, and the injuries of law enforcement. I am angry that an 18 year old was able to legally purchase such powerful guns and ammunition.

It is high time for you, our elected officials, to pass laws to protect human life. You claim to be pro-life. I see no pro-life action being taken when you refuse to acknowledge and pass background checks and red flag laws. All calls for moments of silence and prayers without legislative action are meaningless.

I sign this as a grieving Texan great-grandmother.

Elva Maria Friesenhahn, Dallas

It’s too easy

Why can an 18 year old buy a gun online? Why can an 18 year old even buy a gun anyway? Besides, why can anyone buy a gun online, regardless of age? Why can’t we start with age limits and online shopping, both of which seem like a reasonable starting point for action?

I am a big believer in individual responsibility, but we have to recognize that it can be far too easy for irresponsible people to acquire certain types of firearms.

John Riggs, Highland Park

Who pays the bills?

As a gun owner supporting the Second Amendment, I would like to ask who is going to pay for the Uvalde shooting? Who will pay for lifelong medical care for the injured? What about future mental health costs for all the families of the victims and the students at Robb Elementary (I heard there were about 600; now that number is 580), firefighters, forces of the order, the doctors, the medical personnel and the inhabitants of the city in perpetuity?

And what about rebuilding the school? War memorials? The attorneys’ fees that will accrue to defend the state, city, and school district against the lawsuits that will be filed? All the collateral damage and expense associated with this mass murder event? Who will pay these bills?

There is a huge economic cost to doing nothing to prevent these massacres, and I believe that I, the American taxpayer, am the person paying most of these bills.

Cathy LauerDallas

Shoot that down instead

Tearing down Robb Elementary because of the tragedy that happened there is not the solution. Reinvent the school. Take all recommended changes to make it better and safer than it was. This will show Uvalde Strong.

If you want to destroy something, destroy the National Rifle Association and turn it into an organization that promotes gun safety and safe hunting. Also, eliminate any advertising from companies that manufacture equipment not intended for hunting and sport shooting.

Goebel H. Vaughn, Plano

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