A woman hugs her daughter after being reunited following a mass shooting… (Frank Becerra Jr. / Journal…)
Since news broke of the mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school Friday morning, The Times' has received more than two dozen readers letters; nearly all of them express outrage over the political third rail that gun control has become. So far, one letter writer has warned against calling for gun prohibition.
The following are a selection of those responses. Of course, it wasn't immediately clear how the shooter got his guns or whether stricter firearms laws would have prevented him from obtaining them. But these letters provide a snapshot of reader opinion in the wake of a tragedy that took the lives of at least 24 people, many of them children.
Here are the responses, edited for clarity, style and grammar:
Congratulations to the National Rifle Assn. The NRA is right: Guns don't kill people; people kill people. It is the NRA's responsibility to ensure that when people decide to kill people, they kill the maximum number in the shortest period of time -- that they kill efficiently.
Back on Aug. 12, 1999, you published a letter that I wrote. Part of my letter stated: "Until the hallowed halls of Congress constantly explode in gunfire, expect nothing except rhetoric about gun control laws. And may the next school shootout occur where our congressman have their children. Maybe then they'll see how the rest of us are sleeping at night."
Leslie N. Herschler
Over the last several days there has been a rash of terrible shootings in our country. Once again, proponents of firearms possession will loudly call out for its abolition, and will have a spectacular platform for doing so.
This is unfortunate because our pressing problem will not be properly addressed. Firearms are not the problem. In fact, they are the symptom of a far greater problem, a problem that is not addressed easily. Prohibition did not stop the flow of booze; it has not stopped the smoking of pot; it has not slowed the "oldest profession" -- that is, prostitution.
Our problem is the lack of proper and effective regulation of all these matters, and that we do not do this exponentially creates rampant crime and incredible wealth for the criminals who seize the opportunity to do so.
In the wake of the unspeakable horror of children being killed while at school, isn't it time for us to have an earnest national conversation on effective gun control laws? The truth is that people with guns kill people.
From Arizona to Colorado to Oregon to Connecticut, these mass murders will not end. The innocent, law-abiding among us need to be protected too.
The NRA, which objects to any kind of reasonable controls on gun ownership, is certainly part of the problem.
Paul L. Hovsepian
Friday morning. Henan province, China. A man with a knife stabs 22 children and one adult. No one is killed.
Friday morning. Connecticut. A man shoots and kills at least 24 people, including 18 children.
The NRA has told us that guns don't kill people; people kill people. It lies.
Next time legislators or elected officials talk about the sanctity of life in enacting restrictions on women's reproductive rights, ask them what they're doing to protect the vulnerable in their communities from random gun violence. What kind of limits will they support to keep their own residents safe?
We need brave politicians who care as much about the living as the unborn.
An armed person goes into a school and starts shooting, and people get upset. A person suggests gun control, and people get upset.
What is wrong with us?
For Scalia, no gay people, just gay sex?