Take action, please
As a concerned citizen, social worker and mother who votes in every election, I implore our leaders to do more to stop the spread of gun violence in our country. After the tragic loss of lives in El Paso and Dayton this past weekend, the time to act is now. Please recall the Senate and get to work.
I am begging you to pass research-backed gun safety policies: Please pass a bill to require background checks on all gun sales, and support a strong “red flag” law that will help prevent gun violence tragedies.
I also believe that assault rifles have no place in the hands of civilians. Mass-shooting related homicides in the United States were reduced during the years of the federal assault weapons ban (1994 to 2004). In Dayton, the killer was able to kill nine people and injure 27 people in under 30 seconds because of his access to a high-powered killing machine.
Please bring forward legislation that would make it a crime to knowingly import, sell, manufacture, transfer or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon or large capacity ammunition feeding device.
Sally A. Dean, Kent
'Bad moon' rising
Like many, I thought I had become largely inured to senseless mass shootings in this country. But the events of the past several days in Gilroy, Calif., El Paso, Texas, and Dayton have shaken me awake once again.
Ironically, this month marks the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Festival near Bethel, N.Y. Despite the racial turmoil of the late 1960s and, of course, Vietnam, the roughly half-million souls who danced and cavorted to the music of over 30 bands and singers were celebrating peace and love. But "flower power" has indeed faded away, replaced one could argue, by full-page color ads for high-capacity, military-style weapons. Now, at over 70, I don't quite know what to do with this.
Back on that rain-soaked weekend in 1969, one of the musicians, John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival, sang a metaphorical lyric which would seem to have leaped those five long decades to the present time: "There's a bad moon on the rise."
We should all hope that our own "bad moon" is one day soon eclipsed by — if not peace and love — something a whole lot easier to live with than the ever-increasing accounts of mass murder in these United States.
Jim Walker, Massillon
Democrats' left turn
The Democratic candidates for president want to change the structure of the American economy. Throw out the fossil fuel industry that has just made us energy independent, throw out independent business and manufacturing and make everyone dependent on the government for their health insurance, education and paycheck. This turns us into Venezuela. Starving, unarmed people, bullied by whatever dictator is in power. If you don't want to give your independence away, stay clear of the Democratic Party. They have turned so far left, they have left the building.
Connie M. Kubilus, Marshallville
In the aftermath
The one thing that can be said about mass shootings is that our response is tremendous. Like clockwork, there is an enormous turnout of police, SWAT teams and armored cars, and blindingly fast forensics that reveal everything there is to know about the perpetrator and his motivation. Within minutes, we are even told the source of the weaponry.
But how does that help? it’s all after the fact, isn’t it?
Jeff Davis, Akron