Make assault weapons easy to blame for gunfights

The transfer of responsibility in the shooting of Uvalde

A Fox “News” blurb essentially tried to blame the Texas school shooting tragedy on everyone and everything but easy access to assault weapons.

And to top it off, all of the Republican talking points are about securing schools with a front door and an exit door, law enforcement officers in schools, arming teachers, etc. ., in order to allow the “right to bear arms”. and justify anyone who wants an assault rifle getting one against the rights of innocent children to the right to life.

After:I am a school teacher from Texas. Do our leaders expect me to be a shooter too?

Innocence Lost - John Darkow

So let’s put the onus of protecting children in our schools on the school system itself rather than trying to prevent people who don’t care to have assault weapons from getting one. ?

The three Rs I learned going to school turned into the four Rs: Reading, ‘Riting, ‘Rithmetic and Rifles. These gutless politicians need to be targeted one by one the same way the NRA targets politicians who don’t kiss their behinds. They make me completely sick.

Richard S. Donahey, Bexley

Ed Wexler - Cruz Gun Laws

Response to “head-turning” shootings

Governor Mike DeWine’s political party and many of its supporters continue to speak out against the state of public education. Bills across the country and right here in Ohio are being introduced to limit what educators can say in the classroom. The intention of the bills is to prevent divisive and controversial topics from being discussed in class. Lawmakers focus on protecting students’ feelings.

After:What’s in Ohio House Bill 616, the divisive concept bill that includes sexual orientation?

There is one controversial topic that I would like to stop discussing with students: telling them how to act in an active fire scenario. I’d like to stop answering questions about where to throw the stapler if an intruder breaks into our room. I would like to stop trying to figure out what to say when students ask me why this keeps happening.

After:Editorial: Do active fire drills hurt students?

A sign outside a school in Claude, Texas.

Many supporters of House Bill 616 and House Bill 327 do not trust my colleagues to educate children without prejudice, indoctrination or grooming. Accusations of indoctrination and grooming are even rampant on the Dispatch’s comment boards. If one pays attention only to the many Republican political campaigns across the country, one might be led to believe that public school teachers want to destroy America.

Yet after every school shooting, Governor DeWine and many of his supporters think the same educators they denigrate should be armed. This is an unbelievable, dizzying, hypocritical and weak response.

After:Teachers Should Light, Not Pack Heat

If the current crop of political leaders is the product of public education, and by any indication, then any liberal indoctrination they fear is happening in public schools is not very effective.

I wish Governor DeWine and the Ohio Republican Party were as committed to protecting student lives as they are to protecting student feelings.

Kevin Levine, Bexley

Letters to the Editor

After:How to Submit a Letter to the Editor for The Columbus Dispatch

Maybe we really are the ‘monsters’

Certainly, monsters walk among us. We have ample proof of that.

But when and why does a human being become a monster?

After:Amelia Robinson: Americans have no horns or fangs, but are we the real monsters?

Certainly, it is not at the first breath, when a soul enters the body of a very small one after having left the Divine. So is this the case when someone posts hate in a public forum for the first time? Or not until they acquire a gun, load it up and shoot innocent people? What happens between sweet childhood and the dehumanized nightmare of monstrosity?

As a society, are we creating monsters by tolerating childhood abuse and neglect, excusing our scarcity of nutritious foods, bowing to toxic pharmaceuticals, or encouraging the vicious derision of our fellow human beings for things like skin color, religion and nationality?

After:Reports: Discrimination against Jews and Muslims hit record highs in 2021

Perhaps we are depriving children of the community that makes us human. Maybe we are weaponizing their hearts, minds and bodies. And then, when we make it extremely easy for someone to access a deadly “solution” to their fear, rage, or pain, we act surprised that they are turning it against others – or themselves.

It’s time to recognize that the real monsters here might just be us.

Martha Sanders, Christopher Columbus

Buy an assault weapon a red flag

Wayne LaPierre of the NRA says mass shootings like those in Buffalo and Texas are the price we pay to protect ourselves from tyranny. The only tyranny I fear comes from the untrained and unregulated militia of gun owners.

Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association.

The NRA says people who use their guns to commit murder are mentally ill. If so, how can this be determined before the person commits the crime? How about treating the purchase of military weapons and body armor as red flags that require further investigation? Why does a simple citizen think he needs military weapons or bulletproof vests? Such purchases should receive more than just a background check.

After:Look the evil in the eye, reject the lie. Fear behind Buffalo shooting behind Ohio bills | Robinson

People who commit mass murder do so out of hatred or fear. These feelings do not happen by chance. Is the buyer affiliated with one or more of the hate groups identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center?

After:Deadly California church shooting a ‘hate incident’ against Taiwanese community, authorities say

What opinions does he/she post on social media? Are there any signs that his mind has been poisoned by rhetoric against blacks, Jews or others? How do you stop this person from committing murder?

Ben Freudenreich, Christopher Columbus

John Darkow - Innocence Lost

“Nothing changes if nothing changes”

Please. Do something.

I watch the news. I become depressed. What can I do, I wonder. I could call my reps or submit a letter to the editor. The ease with which a person in our great country can purchase what I consider to be a weapon of mass destruction is frightening to say the least.

Our elected officials are doing little, if anything, to work together to reduce the number of mass shootings.

After:‘How many of our babies need to die?’: Ohio politicians react to mass shooting in Texas

Insanity is doing (or in this case not doing) the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Nothing changes if nothing changes.

Everybody. Make your voices heard. Stop the madness. Please. Do something.

Diane Schmitz, Cincinnati

Ed Wexler - Cruz Gun Laws

Take action or “we get what we get”

The United States has a much higher rate of gun violence compared to other developed countries. Mass shootings continue to occur. We express our sadness and our condolences, but then we do nothing. I learned a long time ago that if you always do what you do, you always get what you get.

After:It’s not just Uvalde, Texas – shootings on school grounds are at an all-time high in the US

Some of the 129 firearms collected at a buy-back event sponsored Canton police, the Stark County District Attorney's Office and community agencies in that Ohio town.

Our leaders can work around the problem or show courage and get things done. Examining the facts and the successes of other countries in this area should guide our responses.

There are unlimited things that can be done. Some of these include: a ban on assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, a gun buy-back program, universal federal background checks, mandatory training and licensing for owners, and the Raising the age of possession of weapons to 21 years. I challenge our leadership to institute any or all of these measures.

In any working-class society, you have to give a little for the good of all. The question of the moment: is the safety of our fellow citizens an absolute priority? We can either look at the facts and act, or keep doing what we’ve been doing and getting what we’re getting!

John Newman, Westerville

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