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Observer Forum: Letters to the editor

Empathize with shooting victims around world as well as in U.S.

There is one very important aspect of last Friday’s unthinkable killings that I have not heard mentioned. We can use the empathy we are feeling for the families of Newtown, Conn., to become more empathic to those around the world who lose their children everyday to senseless shootings from local conflicts. I, for one, cannot imagine the fear, the sorrow, the anxiety they must feel every minute of every day. When we pray, let us lift up the many people of our world – such as in the Middle East, Afghanistan, the Sudan – who do not have the daily security that we in the United States have.

Sandi McGarrah

Charlotte

Here’s problem behind shooting: Lack of mental health services

Every time there is a tragedy involving guns and someone mentally unbalanced the liberal left uses that as an excuse to implement gun control. The problem is not that guns are so available, the real problem is that affordable mental health services are so unavailable.

Jim Van Meerten

Charlotte

I’m an NRA member; reasonable gun law reforms are needed

As a member of the NRA, I am a full supporter of the 2nd Amendment, but there need to be definitive controls. We need to take action and our president needs to cowboy up. We need to:

• Ban assault rifles.

• Ban large capacity gun clips. • Pass tougher legislation so that the 40 percent of private gun sales must be reported, otherwise, how else can you maintain a chain of ownership between gun owners?

• Pass equally tougher legislation that requires anyone who has undergone mental therapy, voluntary or otherwise, to obtain a doctor’s release to own a firearm.

• Enforce a national requirement that all firearms remain secured, including being locked up when not in use. There is no way we can completely stop evil invading our lives but we can take reasonable steps to ensure that 1) those who own firearms do so responsibly and 2) deny those who shouldn’t have one in the first place and to make it nearly impossible for access to one.

Jim Dwiggins

Charlotte

Friday tragedy was work of evil;

it was not a problem with guns

40,000 killed annually in auto accidents; let’s ban cars. Almost 2,500 babies killed daily by abortions! Pick your issue and blame Friday’s tragedy on it. I find it unconscionable for anyone to politicize the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. This was not a problem of projectiles, but of evil.

James B. Hall

Charlotte

What happened in China should be an eye-opener for us in the U.S.

On the same day as the Newtown shootings a deranged man armed with a knife stabbed 22 children outside the Chenpeng Village Primary School in Xinyang, China. No children lost their lives. In Newtown, the tragically similar story ended with 26 deaths. There is no shortage of outliers in any society who will seek to commit such horrors, but when will we come to our senses as a nation and not put semi-automatic guns in their hands?

Cynthia Frank

Charlotte

Parents who are clueless or ignore cries for help are responsible too

In all the debate about what happened Friday, no one seems to bring up one of the most obvious culprits: the parents. Nancy Lanza kept semi-automatic weapons in a house with a suicidal and homicidal young adult son.

Following Columbine, parents of the killers went relatively unscathed, save for a few civil lawsuits. We need gun control reform, but parents who are clueless about or dismissive of their child’s suicidal or homicidal tendencies deserve as much blame as the 2nd Amendment. Their failure to address early cries for help and avert these tragedies deserves closer inspection.

Sucharita Mulpuru

Charlotte

Guns should not be blamed

for the actions of violent people

After 9/11, the left pleaded with the public not to condemn the entire Muslim community, rightly saying that peaceful Muslims were not to blame for the actions of the violent ones. Every time there’s a mass shooting, however, all gun owners are to blame.

Schools are already “gun free” zones and Connecticut had tight restrictions on ownership. As a gun owner myself, I will not be cowed into silence or blamed simply because gun control has proven yet again to be a failure.

Kris Wampler

Charlotte

After massacres, question should be ‘why’ rather than ‘how’

President Obama, please do all children a favor by making mental health issues front and center. After the recent school massacres, we need to admit that the most important question is “why?” not “how?” Empower governors to gather input from their state’s school personnel regarding the billowing mental health issues with their students.

Susan Campbell

Indian Land, S.C.

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This affects comments on all stories.

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The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

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