Responsibly store guns
The threat of gun violence in schools generates alarm in our communities. It is also alarming that 78% of school shooters under the age of 18 acquired their guns from their own home or the homes of family and friends.
Both gun owners and non-gun owners should make our children and communities safer by practicing responsible gun storage and spreading the "Be S.M.A.R.T." message: Secure guns in homes and vehicles. Model responsible behavior around guns. Ask about the presence of guns in other homes. Recognize the role of guns in suicide. Tell your peers to "Be S.M.A.R.T."
It is the adult’s responsibility to "Be S.M.A.R.T." Make asking about the presence of unsecured guns as normal as discussing a child’s allergies when entering a home. It’s not about gun ownership, but responsible gun storage. Let’s save lives.
Katie Browder and Dr. Melanie Hagen, MD, Gainesville
Turn tears into action
I’ve lived through 14 years of gun tragedies and do not want to feel this way anymore.
As a country, we must realize that the future is in the hands of our youngest generation. But our youngest generation has grown up in fear for their lives, the lives of their family members and the lives of those around them.
I am part of this generation, and with full confidence I can say that this is how my brain operates on a daily basis. Why not guarantee us the right to life?
Parkland, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Charleston, Pulse, Columbine, El Paso — these shootings shaped my view of the world, but not in a good way. I fear for my life because I go to an American public school.
I can no longer live like this. We can no longer live like this. Let’s turn our tears into action.
Claire Rotchford, age 14, Gainesville
All rights come from God and the origin of self-defense is established in the Gospel of Luke 22:36 and the duty to protect others is established in Deuteronomy 22:23-25.
The Christian founders of our republic understood the tyranny of unbridled government and the threat of standing armies. They limited standing armies to two-year appropriations from Congress, gave war powers to the legislature and established the state militias as a check against the central government or foreign invasion.
In order to ratify the Constitution there was a guarantee of the Bill of Rights, which in effect was a bill of limitations on government power.
More lives are saved by lawful gun ownership than from misuse. We should be mostly concerned with guns in the hand of government as the course of history has demonstrated and our federal government is no exception.
God save our republic.
Lloyd W. Bailey Jr., Gainesville
Stopping senseless murders
Mental hospitals are an answer to our killing crisis. We should require everyone who owns a firearm to report to the hospital and undergo a mental evaluation. It shouldn’t take longer than two days. If they don’t show homicidal tendencies, they get to keep their firearms. Of course, we should have them return for further exams every six months.
Those who want to purchase their first firearm would get a mental evaluation before the purchase. Like the others, they would have to come back every six months for a checkup.
Every employer would warn the mental police before they fire someone. Then, when the employee is fired, the mental police could pick him/her up and take them to the hospital for observation. We could require the same when someone wants to end a relationship.
So mental hospitals could make a big difference in stopping senseless murders.
Thomas R. Weller, High Springs
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