Gun vi­o­lence in Ore­gon

The Washington Post Sunday - - SUNDAY OPINION - dlet­ters@wash­post.com

Re­gard­ing the Oct. 2 front-page ar­ti­cle “Shooter kills 9 in Ore­gon”:

When are Amer­i­cans go­ing to wake up and say “enough”? Enough gun vi­o­lence. Enough of our fel­low cit­i­zens be­ing killed at col­leges, ele­men­tary schools, movie the­aters, houses of wor­ship, work­places — and the list goes on. How is it that par­ents can no longer send their chil­dren off to school, whether it be ele­men­tary, high school or col­lege, and not think to them­selves, “This may be the day that my child does not come home”?

Would Amer­i­cans be shocked to learn that about 33,000 peo­ple, young and old, across this coun­try lose their lives an­nu­ally due to gun vi­o­lence? Would we be col­lec­tively out­raged if 33,000 peo­ple in a sports arena were all gunned down? Would that shock our sen­si­bil­i­ties? Maybe net­work and ca­ble news should run a crawler show­ing the daily sta­tis­tics. We all think it won’t hap­pen to us or our com­mu­nity. Thurs­day’s shoot­ing, once again, proves that it can.

Alice McCarthy, Rockville

In the United States, our well-reg­u­lated mili­tia, the U. S. Armed Forces, screens re­cruits for men­tal ill­ness. How, then, can one ar­gue that the Sec­ond Amend­ment ref­er­ence to “a well reg­u­lated mili­tia, be­ing nec­es­sary to the se­cu­rity of a free state” pre­cludes men­tal-health screen­ings for gun pur­chasers? The his­tor­i­cal record of our mil­i­tary de­fenses sug­gests that this rea­son­ing is flawed.

Rachel Braun, Sil­ver Spring

Once again, Pres­i­dent Obama used the deaths of nine peo­ple to make a po­lit­i­cal state­ment about gun con­trol. How shame­ful. If one stu­dent had a con­cealed-hand­gun li­cense and was armed, how many lives could have been saved? God help all of us if the gov­ern­ment is the only one with guns.

Michael Grace, Weather­ford, Tex.

Ev­ery one of our elected of­fi­cials bears some re­spon­si­bil­ity for the sense­less gun vi­o­lence that takes place in our coun­try. Only they can change the laws that en­able those who are vi­o­lent or men­tally un­sta­ble to get guns so easily. It is so dis­heart­en­ing to watch these events oc­cur and then watch a now all-too-of­ten-re­hearsed re­sponse from the lo­cal com­mu­nity, the po­lit­i­cal es­tab­lish­ment, the media, law en­force­ment and the gun lob­bies. Other coun­tries have fig­ured this out. Shouldn’t we? How many more need to die?

Lanny Plotkin, Ol­ney

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