Letters: We’re all to blame, here’s how to solve mass shooting problem; Taneytown hiring practices inconsistent; Trump didn’t keep promise, but what about Obama?

Some straightforward solutions to mass shootings

This newspaper ran a front page story about a local Republican club leader having an issue with an Anne Arundel County Democratic group’s recent social media post (“Carroll GOP club decries Dems’ post,” Aug. 15). The posting blamed Republicans for mass shootings, and the local Republican felt that statement was offensive. [But] no one group or individual is ultimately responsible for the epidemic of mass shootings or gun violence in general — we all are!

Some possible “solutions” have been offered from the Right, like more guns will make us safer, so let’s loosen exiting regulations. Just imagine for a moment you are tragically in the midst of an active shooter situation. What do you think is going to happen if you begin firing your weapon, especially if there are other concealed-carry folks present? And how about once the police arrive, and you’re holding a gun? It is noteworthy in the El Paso massacre that no good guys with guns were able to neutralize the shooter. Texas is an open-carry state.


Other leaders have suggested rampant gun violence is because of mental health concerns or the prevalence of violent video games. These can exacerbate the problem, but is the US the only nation with mental illness or violent video games? Yet, we exponentially outpace the rest of the developed world in deaths by firearms. If you feel these are the root of our gun problems, by all means ban violent video games and fully fund adequate mental health care for our nation. That would at least be doing something!

In reality, the solutions are pretty straightforward; lack of fortitude among our elected leaders is holding us back. Let’s start with these:

1. Allow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study and report on all gun violence by repealing the Dickey Amendment, How can you understand and work to resolve an issue if you can’t adequately research it?

2. Institute nationwide universal background checks and mandatory waiting periods for all firearms purchases. It does not work for one city or jurisdiction to have tight gun safety regulations and an adjacent state have lax ones.

3. Close the gun show loophole.

4. We must license and insure motor vehicles, why not the same for firearms?

5. Re-institute the assault weapons ban. There is no justification for individuals to own military-style weapons — they are useless for hunting anything other than humans on the battlefield, they won’t adequately protect you in a home invasion and if it’s a tyrannical government you fear most, rest assured they will come with a lot more firepower than you will ever own.

Don H. West


The author is chairman of the Carroll County Democratic Central Committee.

Inconsistency shown in Taneytown hiring practices

I read in your newspaper the editorial about Westminster and Taneytown (“Westminster, Taneytown show need for improved communication,” Aug. 14). In regards to Taneytown, perhaps you only know half the story.

When Henry Heine died, Zoning Administrator Jim Wieprecht took over as acting city manager. Mr. Wiprecht would like to be the permanent city manager. When Chief Tyler needed to be replaced Jason Etzler took over as acting police chief. Etzler would like to be the Chief of Police. Both of these gentlemen are longtime employees of the city.

The city council, in their wisdom, recently voted to hire someone in Westminster to search for a city manager at a sum up to $30,000, to compete with Wieprecht for that position. The council failed to act fairly with Wieprecht because they gave Etzler the police chief position without a search for other competitors.

I’m not for or against either of these men, but there is a proper way of doing business. One way is being fair and consistent. Do you know of any business owner that would ask his employees who they would like to be their boss? That occurred at the Taneytown Police Department. Wouldn’t that put the police officers in a very bad position if they refused to sign an endorsement like the one presented to the council?


I don’t recall ever hearing anything like this, but government often does strange things. I guess our elected officials in Taneytown are doing the best they can, so it’s not their fault. Whose fault is it then? The people who voted for them.

Marvin Flickinger


Columnist doesn’t mention Obama’s promises

Columnist Tom Zirpoli complained about President Trump not keeping his promises to build a bridge in Ohio (“If you believe Trump, I have a bridge to sell you,” Aug. 7). Well, why doesn’t he mention anything about former President Obama’s promise about if you like your health care you can keep your health care and if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor? That turned out to be false.

Herb Pletcher