Threat Of Gun Violence Affects All Of Us

To The Reader’s Forum:

I am writing this letter not as a former school attorney for several local districts nor as a former U.S. Army officer, but rather as a grandfather now in his seventies.

I write out of concern for my grandchildren and for the children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews of those reading this letter. The latest school shooting in Florida left 17 people dead — including a 15-year-old girl who played soccer; a high school senior who had obtained a college swimming scholarship and a coach who tried to protect his students. This is a tragedy that is repeated time after time and it is unacceptable.

Those in Congress say that attention should be paid to the mental state of the perpetrator and not on the gun sale/ownership question. I do not believe this is an “either-or” situation. It is a problem that has a number of facets: and they all should be addressed. Funding and stressing the need for mental health initiatives is important and must continue. That being said, so must the gun issue. The weapon used in this latest massacre of innocent children was an assault rifle (AR-15). It has been reported that the same weapon was used at the Las Vegas concert, the Orlando night club and the Connecticut elementary school (where first-graders were killed).

Something has to be done. I do not care if you are a Democrat or a Republican, a Progressive or a Conservative, religious or non-religious, white or black, wealthy or not, young or old — this affects all of us. This affects our children’s lives and our grandchildren’s lives. Ask your elected federal representatives not where they stand; but what they are going to do about this situation. Automatic weapons, such as AR-15s, are made to kill large numbers of people at one time. If one wants to fire that type of weapon, join the military … but otherwise some sane approach must be reached to limit the sale and possession of such destructive machines.

I am saddened, disgusted and mad. It is time for those who have remained silent on this matter to speak up. Lives may depend upon what you do … now.

John K. Plumb,