Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Gun policy and politics

Lafayette High School students took part in a nationwide 10 a.m. walkout Wednesday to commemorate the one-month anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida and to demonstrate against school violence.
Lafayette High School students took part in a nationwide 10 a.m. walkout Wednesday to commemorate the one-month anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida and to demonstrate against school violence. cbertram@herald-leader.com

Placing biased blame

I’m amazed by the Herald-Leader and its writers’ limited comprehension of the words they take great pains to publish. After reading the front page, then the opinion on the editorial page, I was simply flabbergasted by the Herald-Leader’s conclusion.

It’s always the gun that does the killing, not the person violating the law. The gun thinks and acts by firing the bullet on its own.

Then it is always the people who have a gun in their home for protection that the Herald-Leader goes after. They are just leaving their guns lying around for a child’s use and somehow you point that out as why the criminal committed these terrible murders.

If journalists and editors do not get back to reporting the news as news without imputing how they see things, this nation is being done a great disservice by the First Amendment people. The Herald-Leader is not using its words to fight the criminal element but to harm the innocent, the family and the freedom of this nation.

Why doesn’t the Herald-Leader become a news organization and not a spouting piece for socialism and government control?

Ronald Robinette


Parents must play role

What is going on with our kids today? They are killing each other right and left. Most of the time it’s over drugs.

Many parents do not have any idea what their children are doing and who they are with. I think some of this may be caused by mental illness. I am not a doctor; I am going by what I see on the news. I have three adult children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, and I would die if one of them were killed for no reason at all.

Parents should get involved in their children’s lives. Know who they are with and what they are doing. Check their computers, phones, etc. They might be surprised what they will find. Even then, doing the above will not stop it at all.

Young men and women should stop and think about what they are about to do. If it involves hurting or killing someone, talk to someone and get help. Do not ruin your life, or the lives of other families by killing other children.

L.E. Finn


When schools are not safe

Have our elected officials ever helped a student grieve because her friend was killed in a school shooting? I have.

My first year as a teacher occurred in Denver, Colo., the same year as the Columbine massacre. Children in my classroom lost friends and neighbors. That next day was the hardest I ever spent as a teacher; my students kept asking me if they would be safe at school, and I had to tell them the truth: “I don’t know. I’m scared, too.”

Two decades later, I am appalled that I still have to give the same answer to the teachers I train: “I can’t promise your schools will be safe.”

Elected officials have done absolutely nothing to curb school shootings and other gun violence. The opposite has happened: The National Rifle Association has spent millions buying Kentucky politicians’ support. I want to live in a society that values its children and teachers more than its guns.

We need laws that strengthen background checks and that keep military-grade weapons in the hands of the military only. Politicians need to show their constituents that the life of a single child or teacher is worth more than all the NRA’s money.

Kristen Perry


Brainstorming ideas

If we are going to write a gun law, write down all the reasonable ideas available:

1. Eliminate sale of bump stocks.

2. Ban the sale of all semiautomatic assault rifles and multi-round magazine clips.

3. Background checks that include a mental health essay. Psychiatrists could develop a short exam to determine if one has some mental defect or proclivity to commit a mass murder. The test is emailed, faxed or mailed into a national database. A numbering system could be used instead of one’s name. The purchaser would give that number to the salesperson. Gun shops could charge the customer for this service.

4) A waiting period as long as it takes to get the risk-assessment results back.

Another idea is to have armed guards. While this is a somewhat reasonable idea, I do not like the thought of our schools looking like armed camps. If we decide to do this, I suggest a tax on guns and bullets that would pay for this added cost to our already debt-burdened school systems. Installing certain materials that would make our schools more bullet-proof is another good idea.

Robert Hoeller


Selectively pro-life

Why don’t GOP “pro-life” advocates talk about the little beating hearts of murdered school children, or the gunned-down victims in churches, concert spaces and theaters?

Is the National Rifle Association’s Dana Loesch’s speech about the media only caring about “crying white mothers” a racial slap against crying black mothers? Is Wayne LaPierre’s flaming speech against media and gun-control advocates really about fears of losing power?

The NRA is the KKK dressed up by gun and munitions manufacturers, using hate and fear to protect profits.

Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza’s mother bought his guns. He used a Bushmaster to massacre the children. The police, media and medical people witnessed the horror and grief: parents trying to claim bodies by bits of clothing from the exploded flesh.

Loesch, LaPierre, Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. Paul Ryan apparently missed the conversation that day. The surviving Parkland, Fla., students demand their conversation with lawmakers. Simple: Ban selling assault weapons and high-capacity ammo. And keep your other guns safe.

If the NRA goal is every school as a shooting gallery, our teachers won’t need guns but Kevlar vests and combat pay to keep NRA and GOP baby killers from school.

Judy Rembacki


Roots of violence

School shootings are the result of many things: low self-esteem, availability of guns, lack of the nuclear family, violent movies/ video games. Finally, too many parents rely on pills to help their children sleep at night instead of taking time to read them a bedtime story. No pill is as powerful as a hug.

Beverly Miller


POST is the solution

In the days since the Parkland massacre, we’ve heard the same failed calls for infringements upon the God-given rights of law-abiding Americans. There’s a proven way to stop school mass murderers.

The Protect Our Students and Teachers Program (POSTky.org), is modeled after the National Armed Pilots Program, which has trained 15,000 commercial airline pilots since 9/11. With adoption of POST, local school boards will turn from the failed unilateral disarmament model for their schools and embrace a model consisting of deterrence, immediate armed response and thoroughness of training.

As tragically seen in Florida, the school resource officer model is woefully lacking. Another half-measure with unintended consequences is the metal-detector. Imagine what scores or hundreds of students bunched together outside school entrances every morning would look like to a madman.

Our politicians prove by their examples that nothing trumps swift, lethal force against deadly threats to their loved ones. Aren’t your children worth the same, proven means of defense? Just as concealed carry laws have now swept all 50 states, the armed school defense model is coming. The only question remains whether or not your children will enjoy POST’s arm of protection sooner or later.

Shane Morris