Letters to the Editor — Are commonsense gun laws possible?

Mandatory reading

Re: “From muskets to madness — Retired police officer reflects on his family roots and how weapons have evolved,” by Daniel Carlson, Sunday Opinion.

Dallas Morning News, please thank Carlson for me. I wish all Americans would read his reflection. We and the politicians we vote into office need to do something now about the proliferation and use of military-style weapons and the resulting deaths.

Linda Fielder, Carrollton

5 reasons for a semi-automatic

Carlson states “there is no rational reason for assault weapons to be in the hands of civilians.”

Here are five rational reasons for owning a semi-automatic rifle with a standard magazine capacity of 30 rounds: 1. Multiple armed intruders invade your home/business/property. 2. During times of civil disorder when police cannot respond. 3. To be better than or equally armed with criminals’ weapons. 4. During natural disaster when police cannot respond. 5. One does not trust the government authority.

Doug Caldwell, Plano

Machine guns are regulated

This opinion piece by Carlson was spot on. The authors of the Second Amendment never conceived of the damage today’s military-style weapons can inflict. During the 1930s (the heyday of gangsters), the United States placed stringent restrictions on the purchase of machine guns, and in 1986 Congress banned the sale of machine guns to civilians. There was no uproar from the National Rifle Association.

Semi-automatic rifles are the machine guns of the 21st century. They should not be in the hands of civilians, though recalling those weapons would be practically impossible. However, future sales to anyone other than military or police should be strictly banned. This ban should also include high-capacity magazines.

Count me among the many who are sick of reading about near-daily mass shootings.

Vivian Bush, Ovilla

We can’t rely on ‘good guys’

Thank you to Carlson for his reasoned and clearly written essay. How many times have we heard “What we need is a good guy with a gun?” My question is this: How many “good guys” were there in and around Robb Elementary School, yet they were paralyzed about doing anything to stop the massacre going on in the classroom?

There was no action on their part for 77 minutes. Not even a door handle fired at. We know the outcome — 19 students and two teachers dead. Nineteen wounded.

Until we outlaw the purchase of military-style weapons to the public, we are going to need a lot more “good guys.” Any volunteers?

Ellen Taylor Seldin, Dallas

Contact Texas and US officials

I read with interest Carlson’s essay. He puts a personal and historical perspective on gun violence, moving from a distant relative’s involvement in our Revolutionary War to his family’s history with guns, including his own. He also provides historical perspective on our Second Amendment.

Yet even with his family’s history with and support of guns, he states “there is no rational reason for assault weapons to be in the hands of civilians.” He also quotes Amanda Gorman, solidifying his argument against assault weapons. She states: “It takes a monster to kill children, but to watch monsters kill children again and again and do nothing isn’t just insanity — it’s inhumanity”.

We need to contact our Texas and federal representatives and senators and make them understand that truth and ban military-style weapons from use by civilians.

Catherine Mangarelli, Aubrey

Vote for those who back ban

The majority of Americans oppose allowing civilians to own semi-automatic rifles. The majority of Texans also oppose allowing civilians to own semi-automatic rifles. Legislators are elected to represent their constituents. Republicans in Washington and in Austin are ignoring the desires of their constituents.

The only way Texans and all Americans can get these weapons banned is for voters to refuse to support any office seeker who is not committed to a ban on these weapons.

Norma Northcutt, McKinney

Militia definition corrected

Re: “Great-grandkids deserve better,” by Dick Waters, Tuesday Letters.

Mr. Waters wrote, “The National Guard is our militia, not everyday citizens.” wrong US Code 10 Article 246 to wit: a. The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

b. The classes of the militia are 1. the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia, and 2. the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia .

Thus males ages 17 to 45 and females in the National Guard are our militia.

Burt E. Ballentine, Keller

Being armed and trained can help

It appears this editorial cartoon in Wednesday’s paper showing the National Rifle Association supporting heavily armed teachers was drawn before the 22-year-old took out a shooter in an Indiana mall. Arming teachers may or may not be the best plan. But it would be hard to believe that the Indiana hero had more training than the entire Uvalde Police Department.

But it does show that being armed, having proper proficiency training and maybe even more important, showing extraordinary composure, go a long way.

Rich Rigsby, Wylie

AR-15 turned in for destruction

I was born and raised in Texas, and I am a hunter and fisherman. With that being said, I moved out of Texas because of the political deadlock on all gun initiatives. I used to own an AR-15 but turned it over to the police for destruction. I own other rifles and shotguns.

Remember, in 1776 the world was different. We had just ended a war, but there is no war now and we have an outstanding military to protect us. Weapons back then were single shot and today’s are not. I believe that the Second Amendment gave us the right to carry single-shot weapons, not high-speed, multi-shot weapons!

Robert K. Murray, Lecanto, Fla.

It’s not the gun

Re: “We must go further on gun laws — Our leaders have failed to meet the moment on firearm availability, safety,” Tuesday editorial.

Your editorial was obviously written by a true liberal. You and other liberals have yet to figure out the problem concerning guns. My gun has never asked me to let it shoot someone. What I’m saying is that it’s not the gun, it’s the person behind the gun! Why can’t you figure this out? Even if you think you can take these guns from people, tell me how do you plan to take them from the criminals? And how do you prevent criminals from buying them on the black market?

Tim Skiles, North Richland Hills

More guns not the answer

I do not believe more guns on the street will result in fewer gun killings. Some want to poor teachers to protect schools and still others want to poor everyone to protect churches, shopping centers and entertainment ventures.

Looking back before the elimination of gun control laws, when people got angry, harsh words or gestures or a black eye were the results. But today, because of guns, people die, including schoolchildren.

More guns and certainly guns with mass killing ability do not make us safer. We have proven this over and over since Sandy Hook. Why are good citizens allowing the killing to continue? It’s not good for the public, it’s not good for business, it’s not good for America.

Fred Wells, Dallas

End gun rule with your vote

What kind of a place do we live in where our politicians will not seriously consider sensitive gun safety measures to save the lives of our children and believe the answer is to turn our schools into fortresses? The good guy with a gun myth was shattered in Uvalde and it never had any validity.

Whether the Uvalde first responders were simply without leadership or were cowards will probably never be known. What we do know is our politicians, starting with Gov. Greg Abbott, have pushed to make us the wild west with more guns, available to pretty much anyone. We even make silencers legal, floating federal law.

No one needs a semi-automatic rifle. The military-style weapon ban needs to be reestablished and the liability shield protecting gun manufacturers needs to be eliminated as first steps on a federal level.

Here in Texas, the state is so gerrymandered that a fair election in most districts is not possible, but we can end the rule of Abbott, whose first loyalty is to the gun lobby.

Robert L. Barrese, Dallas

Tool of the trade is the same

What more must we say? The elephants in the living room are semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines. Does it really matter that there are evil and mental issues in the mix, or overlooked criminal records at the point of purchase? The common denominator — the tool used most in mass shootings — is a high-capacity military-style weapon. It’s a moot point why they do it. But the tool of their trade remains the same.

Is it really all that hard for Congress, especially Republicans, to make a wise choice of compromise with the past and future loved ones of mass shooting victims? Stop selling these instruments of death now. We have seen way, way too many horrible results.

Bill Hodges, Colleyville

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