Like millions, I watched horror overtake El Paso and Dayton. I felt sick, sad and overwhelmed — again. Like millions, I prayed for everyone touched by this evil.

Then I felt angry and frustrated. Watching our Congress in action is like watching fifth-graders squabble. “You did it!” “No, it’s your fault!” are the only things Republicans and Democrats say; like children they say the same thing over and over.

Next, I asked questions:

Why do we arm people not in the military with military weapons?

Why do we arm our mentally ill?

Why does the National Rifle Association intimidate our elected officials?

I hope people with power and money can form a group like NARA — No Assault Rifles Association. Its goal: to make assault weapons and their ammunition illegal to be sold to or owned by private citizens. To change the foolish laws we die with now, we need a voice in Washington. We need our own lobbyists to influence the childish adults we’ve elected to Congress. Congress must stop bickering and start ending assault-rifle massacres.

We the People, the people who would like to take our children to church, schools, festivals, etc., and have a chance to come home safely are just fed up.

Elizabeth Curley



(11) comments

Harvey Mueller

I too am sickened by mass killings that are happening in our country. Why do certain individuals feel their only recourse is to take up weapons and take lives. Could it be tied to the squabbling fifth graders we call congress? There is endless name calling with no valid arguments and discourse. And mainstream media is nothing but sensationalism and very short on facts. Could this drive individuals to feel hopeless and in despair and compelled to act? It is not a reason but it does have an effect.

Why do we arm people not in the military with military weapons? Military weapons are high capacity and fully automatic none of which are available to the public without special permits. That which is available to the public is a look-alike SEMI-automatic version - not the same weapon.

Why do we arm our mentally ill? Define mentally ill. Neither the Santa Fe shooter or the Florida shooter had been diagnosed as mentally ill or under a doctor care. Screening for mental illness as proposed will be done by a government board. Do you want Bernie Sanders, Ilhan Omar, AOC and Sheila Jackson Lee to decide if you are mentally ill?

Why does the National Rifle Association intimidate our elected officials? It's not the NRA. There's this pesky little thing called the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. Are you willing to repeal the 2nd Amendment? Mexico does not allow private citizens to own guns. They have ben outlawed. So why is it that Mexico cartels are dangerous and heavily armed? Laws are only followed by law abiding citizens. Pass all the laws you wish - criminals will never follow them. Now what about the mass murder in California? It was done with a knife - no gun involved.

The NRA feels the same way we do - they do not promote, condone or incite violence. They support the 2nd Amendment and feel outlawing guns only shifts violence to knives, vans to run down people or explosives.

Carlos Ponce

"Why do we arm people not in the military with military weapons?" Elizabeth, your premise is wrong. No military weapons are sold to the general public. They only LOOK like a military-use weapon. But they're not.

Gary Miller

Assualt wepons were banned and nothing changed. The ban expired and nothing changed. Them stupid guns didn't know what to do. Only way is invent smart guns that don't break laws. If any solution is ever found I suspect it will be the NRA or a gun owner that discovers it. Anti gunners don't want a solution, no money in a solution.

Wayne Holt

The ideas expressed in this letter are facile solutions but in many ways, not borne out by the facts. Why is Switzerland not prone to mass shootings when they have real military weapons available in many resident homes? Why is it almost an historical truism that the next stop after disarming a people is more oppression and tyranny? Why is England now experiencing a wave of knife attacks like it has never seen before; shouldn't banning guns have made them all safer? Take a look at the US statistics when you remove the criminal element from the data; the average American gun owner is practically a pacifist in action. But this writer says strip away the rights of the average person and hope the net will catch those who will not obey the law or even respect human compassion.

What the writer wants to come to pass is just about guaranteed to fail, if the plan is to stop mass killings. Anyone with a box truck, a crowd and murder in their heart can do as much or more damage...and that is what you will see.

Many shooters are on drugs with known psychosis-inducing contraindications. Why does the FDA allow them to be marketed? Is it truly more humane to have mentally ill people living on the street as we do now rather than institutionalized with proper supervision and care? Why is it necessary to think we are more rational than the brilliant founders of this republic, who fully understood the purpose of the 2nd Amendment. For those who say "yes, but they didn't think about military weapons," you should research what the privateers and colonial militia had as far as weapons; often they were state of the art for their time.

I am unwilling to let the behavior of the mentally ill, the hate driven, the ideologically pure, the drug addled or the hysterical define the limits of my right of self defense, a right recognized as a natural right under our founding documents.

Bailey Jones

Guns aren't the problem, they're just a symptom of the problem. Americans kill each because it's in our national DNA. We're a nation born of revolution, slavery, genocide, civil war, and most of all, self-righteous indignation. More Americans are murdered each year by hammers and bare hands than assault-style rifles. So, no - guns aren't the reason we kill each other, and eliminating them won't make us stop. (You don't need guns to kill, just look at our two largest mass murders, OKC and 9/11 - no guns required.) That's not to say that easy access to guns doesn't contribute to the rate of suicide and crimes of passion - but will it stop us from killing each other? - no. That's a cancer that's deep in our collective heart. Read the El Paso terrorist's manifesto. It's not the ramblings of a mentally ill maniac. It's the calm and reasoned writing of someone who believes, as the president and many others on the right have said and presumably believe, that America is being invaded by brown skinned people and that, as the president has also said, the government is prohibited from using arms to stop it. He's bought the old white nationalist trope of "replacement" - the idea that lesser races will out-procreate and displace the superior white American race. It's what the Nazis were chanting in Charlottesville - "Jews will not replace us". (Charlottesville being just another example of how to murder without a gun.) Personally I think people who have a fetish (and what else could you call it?) for firearms are ridiculous. But they're not the cause of our national murder rate.

Randy Chapman

This author is so far past ignorant that she doesn't deserve to be posted in this paper.

Paula Flinn

Uninformative and unkind comment.

Read over the guidelines for posting.

“Be Nice,” is one of them.

Carlos Ponce

Paula, there is no easy way to tell someone he or she is completely wrong in their premise. The author apparently has no knowledge of what she is writing about.

Paula Flinn

Your way was kinder and better, Carlos. My opinion.

Carlos Ponce

Yes, but I will not fault someone for calling it as it is.The referee's call may not be popular but it was accurate.

Randy Chapman

Paula, the original author was what I said. If you choose to not like an accurate description of what she wrote, then that is your problem, not mine. I will use the words I like, as long as they are not derogatory. I am tired of Political Correctness Police.

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