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Observer Forum: Letters to the editor

Gun-free zones get people killed; let teachers stop killers

The conventional wisdom of gun bans and gun-free zones is wrong – and it gets people killed.

Paul Valone and Grass Roots North Carolina have made a modest proposal: that N.C. teachers who’ve been trained, fingerprinted, background checked, thus earning the right to have a concealed carry permit, be permitted to carry guns at school.

We already permit school resource officers to be armed in schools, and nothing bad has happened. Why not extend the same rights to teachers?

We know that mass shooters only stop shooting when a good person with a gun confronts them. The key to saving lives is to stop them as soon as possible.

George Cerbone

Waxhaw

It’s not the video games; need rapid response teams at school

I’m tired of hearing vitriol aimed at video games and movies for their violent content. I played “Mortal Kombat” as a child and proudly list “Die Hard” as one of my favorite films, yet I have never picked up a weapon and killed anyone, let alone a group of innocent children.

Instead of focusing on assault weapons, which should be banned, we should be asking ourselves how we can strengthen security at schools.

A full-time squad of rapid-response officers on every campus comes to mind. I doubt anyone would complain about tax dollars going to make education a little safer.

Carter Johnson

Charlotte

In response to “N.C. delegation: Fix violence, not gun laws” (Dec. 20):

N.C. delegation side-stepped most important issue

The N.C. delegation statements seem accurate, to a point, re: a national obsession with violence, a systemic rise of untreated mental health problems.

What the entire group blatantly side-stepped is the issue of gun control. Assault weapons have no other purpose than killing people, as fast as possible. They are not for hunting or home security; they’re for killing humans. These weapons do not need to get into the hands of private citizens.

Mary M. Delaney

Charlotte

In response to “Time has come for rights of innocent to trump gun owners’ ” (Dec. 19 Forum):

Limiting gun ownership doesn’t stop mass murder; ask China

Guns are illegal in China, yet there have been at least six attacks on elementary schools in the past three years resulting in over 20 deaths and 100 injuries.

Not a single firearm was used in any of those attacks.

As long as we continue to ignore the real problem – a lack of mental health care in the U.S. – we will continue to have mass murders in our country.

Andrew Thiel

Charlotte

In response to “I’m an NRA member; reasonable gun law reforms are needed,” (Dec. 18 Forum):

Glad to see some in NRA are being reasonable about all this

Even though he is an NRA member and supports the Second Amendment, Forum writer Jim Dwiggins says there needs to be “definitive controls,” including a ban on assault rifles, a ban on large capacity gun clips and other measures.

I used to think all NRA members were rigid in their thinking and lacking in compassion. Mr. Dwiggins’ letter showed thoughtfulness and compassion. It gives me hope.

Jim Hinkle

Charlotte

We need compassion, open dialogue on mental illness

The media is now further stigmatizing mental illness by narrowing in on it. Most people with a mental illness are not violent. In fact, they’re more likely to be victims of violence, rather than inflict it.

We should have an open and compassionate dialogue about mental illness – a brain disease.

Then, maybe people would not feel scared or ashamed to get help and others would be educated about mental illness.

Then, people with mental illness wouldn’t feel so marginalized from mainstream society.

Heather Sugg

Charlotte


Medical costs are outrageous, and my latest bill is proof

For a colon examination that took less than two hours, Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast, sent me a $4,000 bill.

After my insurance payoff, I was still stuck with a $1,300 bill.

On the itemized bill I requested, one item stood out: $14.50 per minute for 30 minutes in the recovery room. Nothing on that bill was reasonable, but I could have recovered in a luxury hotel in Dubai for that price.

There is no price list at a hospital, and the patient, who needs the service, has no options.

I am not opposed to paying for medical service, but this borders on extortion.

Warren D. Smith

Concord


In response to “Overuse of drugs in cattle puts human health at risk” (Dec. 16) and related articles:

Drug overuse in cattle yet another reason to buy local

The writer is interim director of the Upper PeeDee Farm and Food Council.

Meat grown locally, naturally, and processed by people who care about their animals will never cause the problems the big meat industry is causing.

E. coli exposure and overuse of antibiotics in cattle are just two of many reasons for people to buy locally grown meat from folks like the Mooresville farmers mentioned in “Taking stock of a livelihood” (Dec. 12).

Besides, more local farmers producing more healthy food benefits all with healthier lives and a stronger local economy.

Nancy C. Bryant

Norwood

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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.

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