The Dallas Morning News
Comments, solutions follow mass shooting
Guns are problem, not answer
Re: “‘There really are no words,’ — 17 dead after gunfire rips apart another school,” Thursday news story.
The three factors of crime are means, motive and opportunity. We should work on all three and not reject any idea just because it won’t be 100 percent effective. Some progress is better than none. We should also keep the larger picture in mind, instead of just asking “How would that have prevented this incident?”
Means: The method of choice is guns. They are much easier and a more effective means than any other. So easy, even a toddler can use them, as we have seen. Part of the problem is easy access to guns. Another is the killing power of high-capacity semi-automatics. There are ways we can reduce these, without infringing.
Motive: There are as many motives as there are shooters. Blaming it on mental illness is a cop-out. We do need more and better mental health services, but we also need to promote a culture where people are not demonized and dehumanized. Part of the problem is the “guns are the answer mentality” promoted by the National Rifle Association. People start seeing guns as the answer to all sorts of problems.
Opportunity: Security measures help, but easy access to guns also increases the opportunity factor. You almost never hear of a road rage knifing. John Narusis, Dallas
God forgive America
At least 17 more of our innocents were murdered Wednesday. Given a choice between watching our children die or instituting meaningful gun controls that might eventually limit these unspeakable tragedies, too many gun owners of this nation say, “Give us our guns.”
Meanwhile, the rest of us simply shake our heads and passively wait for the next massacre to occur, as it surely will.
People sing “God bless America.” America doesn’t deserve God’s blessing in my opinion. What they should be singing is “God forgive America.” Holmes Brannon, Plano
A question for the NRA
Say, hey, NRA, how many more shall die today? Robert Lebovitz, North Dallas
We need new representatives
Once again, I will propose my plan. First, rigorous background checks for all gun sales with a two-week wait while they are conducted. No loopholes. If you can’t wait two weeks, you aren’t stable enough to own a weapon. That’s the short term solution.
Second, an absolute ban on the import, manufacture, distribution, sale and ownership of all semiautomatic weapons. If you can’t hit your target with a single-shot weapon, you need to take marksmanship training.
None of this will happen because the gun industry is a multibillion-dollar-per-year business. I believe they launder money through the NRA and other lobbying organizations to buy our elected representatives. If you want serious action on weapons, elect different representatives.
Our elected representatives will pontificate about praying for the Parkland families. They will tell us once again that now, in this time of sorrow, it is not time to talk about sensible measures. We really do need new representatives. Tom Naylor, North Dallas
So, here we are again. Seventeen dead at the hands of a person with an assault rifle. The flags will fly at half-staff, again. There will be a call for prayer, again. We’ll be told it’s too soon to talk about gun control, again. And soon, there will be another mass shooting, again. And again, there will be little outrage.
Where are those who claim to support the right to life? Why no protest? Why aren’t you pounding on the door of your representative? How about MADD? Drunken driving is a cause. Why not mass murder? How about the PTA moms? You do a great job getting a crossing guard for safety but have no time to help make sure that a 12-year-old with a grudge doesn’t show up with an AR-15 left unsecured at home.
I don’t mean to throw these groups under the bus, I just want to point out that there must be individuals and organizations that will champion this cause. The NRA and their lapdogs, the entire Congress, will do nothing until they’re held accountable. It’s time for a change. We can no longer say that we hate these tragedies and do nothing about the politicians that enable them by their complacency. November is coming, and it’s time to hold people accountable. Keith Jones, Dallas
Heed Scalia’s words
Yes, there are words, and here they are, courtesy of Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote the majority opinion in the 2008 case which upheld an individual’s right to possess a firearm: “Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”
And then there are my words: Americans can stop glamorizing guns as is being done by self-proclaimed “pistol-packing mama” Angela Paxton in her quest for votes in the 2018 election for state representative and by so many others.
Guns have been used in the slaughter and maiming of dozens of innocent people in movie theaters, churches, schools, open-air concerts and forums. Instead of focusing on “promoting the general welfare” as is stated in the preamble to the Constitution, however, many Americans continue to take the view that their Second Amendment rights supersede anything. And so the death toll from the use of guns continues to climb, and we continue to live in fear.
I call on the leaders of Texas and of our nation to heed the words of Justice Scalia and to rectify this situation. It is long past time. Susan Griffith, Plano
When will Congress act?
How many American kids have to die before our elected representatives act on reasonable gun control legislation?
I don’t mean this as a rhetorical question. I mean quite literally, what is it going to take? Is 1,000 dead kids going to do it? 10,000? 50,000?
Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz: Really, I’d like to know ... what’s your number? If you won’t give us your number, then at least tell us this: How do you sleep at night?
Miner Raymond, Waco
How about these words?
Regarding the headline, “There really are no words,” there are three little words: Gun control now. Perri Brackett, Lewisville
A reminder about Cruz
To all my fellow Texans who are saddened, horrified and outraged by the latest mass murder at a Florida high school committed by a 19-year-old armed with an AR-15 assault weapon, let me remind you that Sen. Ted Cruz voted against the assault weapons ban in 2013. Vote him out in November. Frank Mott , Houston
Do what the people want
Another day, another mass shooting. Congress and the simpleton president will offer the same old “Our prayers are with the families,” but not something to make a difference in the shootings. How about doing what the majority of Americans want — require more thorough universal background checks? You buy a gun anywhere and you get checked out.
Get Congress out of the NRA pocket. Elect sane representatives who don’t pander to those misinterpreting the Second Amendment.
Why should the NRA with 5 million members have more pull than the other 315 million of us. Even the majority of NRA members want more thorough checking.
Everyone will do the mental illness misdirection, not address the problem. Too many guns in the wrong hands. Mental illness and being self-involved is different.
It’s almost always a white male whose feelings got hurt taking on anyone he feels offended him. Contacting your representative does no good; you get the above response. We need to elect new-thinking individuals who put us before lobbyists.
And FYI, I’m a veteran, gun-owning, moderate Democrat.