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on guns, regulations

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Thursday’s paper was filled with articles about gun control and violence.

A few statements stood out to me: State Sen. Bill DeSteph said, “We should not detract from our period of grief by politicizing this tragedy with a debate on gun control.” Columnist Michael Paul Williams wrote, “Any law that prizes gun rights above human life is immoral.” And finally, Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea asked, “How many incidents have to occur before they think it’s time to take action?”

How many incidents indeed? The senator who represents the district where the most recent mass shooting occurred does not even want to talk about gun control or laws, calling it too political. When, if not now, is the time?

The time should have been before this occurred. It is not as if we didn’t know another tragedy was coming.

They come so often that it is beginning to seem bizarrely almost normal. How can a horrific violent action become normal to us?

The governor’s call for action is the right thing to do, both morally and ethically. I am not against the right to bear arms, but some commonsense laws that address real problems in modern times must be put in place. When the Second Amendment was written, many citizens had to hunt for their food and repel attacks on their property. An assault rifle has no place in modern society.

I do not advocate taking away all guns, just some commonsense ideas to restrict purchases or at least delay them while backgrounds are checked. The one weapon purchase per month also is valid. Why would any normal law-abiding person need to make more than one purchase per month? The assault rifle and bump stock ban also is timely and prudent. Again, why would a law-abiding citizen need such weapons? No zombie apocalypse is coming.

The time is now for lawmakers to do the right thing and at least try to stem the sale of these weapons of mass destruction. It is, as Mr. Williams states, immoral to do otherwise. And yes, I vote and I will continue to do so.

Beth Jeffress.


Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Does anyone really believe new laws will stop all the killing? Until there is a change in the country’s moral attitude, nothing will change. Look at what’s on the internet and television, then ask why people do what they do.

New laws will only mean more good people will be put under more control by a government that can’t govern itself.

Tony Trexler.


Editor, Times-Dispatch:

It occurs with mind-numbing precision and frequency: The National Rifle Association expresses condolences to the families of the victims. They then express their appreciation for the professionalism and bravery of the first responders. They will identify a hero to draw attention away from the victims of the shooting.

Next, the NRA lays blame on others for the shootings. They call on schools to “put armed police officers in every single school in this nation.” They want schoolteachers to be armed.

More good guys need to have firearms so they can shoot it out with the bad guys. Following the South Carolina church shooting four years ago that killed eight, a board member of the NRA posted on a gun forum that the slain pastor was responsible for the deaths of the parishioners. Why? Because the pastor didn’t allow his parishioners to carry concealed firearms in his church.

Finally, the NRA will attack any politician or group that wants sensible gun control. They derided Gov. Ralph Northam for “exploiting a tragedy to push his failed political agenda.”

While the NRA is weaving its endless response, most of the public and press have their weary response to yet another mass murder.

The president expresses his condolences, flags are lowered, pictures and brief bios are run in the newspaper, vigils are held, the victims are buried and nothing changes.

One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.

The NRA isn’t insane. They keep following the same script and get the same results. The sale of firearms goes up because the NRA tells their members that the enemy will use this incident to attack the Second Amendment.

And nothing will get done. That’s exactly what the NRA wants.

Will Virginians finally demand that their legislators stand up to the NRA and pass sensible gun control measures?

Richard Wulf.


Editor, Times-Dispatch:

I am a follower of Sir Edmund Burke. He identified the paradox of governing in a free society, which requires elected officials to have a “sagacious, powerful and combining mind” and the only one who possesses that kind of mind in Congress is Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan.

Unfortunately, there are none in the Virginia General Assembly — they are mostly yes men and women who follow the orders of their party bosses, both Republicans and Democrats.

Burke identified what makes a real, free government: “To give freedom is still more easy. It is not necessary to guide; it only requires to let go the rein. But to form a free government; that is, to temper together these opposite elements of liberty and restraint in one consistent work, requires much thought, deep reflection, a sagacious, powerful, and combining mind.”

I am not very optimistic at all that Democrats and Republicans in the Virginia Assembly in this special session or any session are capable of much thought and deep reflection to come up with legislation that will solve our problem of violence by angry men with guns.

We need to focus on killing the anger and not killing people or controlling guns that are incapable of killing people without angry men pulling the trigger.

John Bloom,

Chairman, Constitution Party of Virginia.Newport News.


Editor, Times-Dispatch:

With regard to the RTD article “Electronic doors thwarted police in Va. Beach shooting,” keeping domestic disputes and other assaults outside the workplace is a wise risk-control strategy.

But for those situations where a perpetrator with an access card has entered a building, first responders need a way in, as well.

Emergency lock boxes, which contain keys, access cards and maps, can be installed at building entrances to allow emergency responders — local and state police units as well as fire and/or rescue crews — access to buildings when no one is at the entrances.

Access keys to these boxes are issued to and maintained in the specific fire and/or rescue vehicles.

For example, Inova Fairfax Medical Campus in Northern Virginia has installed emergency lock boxes at entrances, and the hospital also provides a cache of walkie-talkie radios for direct communication with hospital security staff.

Richmond City Hall and other city and county government buildings could use these creative solutions.

Donald E. White,

Alexandria Volunteer Fire Department.Alexandria.

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