We must pull together, explore all options to stop mass shootings

I read the headline of guest columnist M.K. Sprinkle [Sunday, “Guns, mental illness or spiritual deficit?”]. My immediate thought was that it would prove to misrepresent the column. Alas, I was wrong. In a perfect world, we could flick a switch and bad things would stop happening. Unfortunately, it is not that simple.

I attended elementary school in the 1960s when every day started with the pledge and a prayer. I would like to say that there were no “bad” people in the generation that was a few years older than me who said prayers throughout their schooling. But that would not be true. While the crimes were different, there were violent criminals in the headlines in the late 20th century. The Boston Strangler, Son of Sam and Ted Kaczynski come to mind.


I submit that the mass shootings we are now seeing are a “perfect storm” brought about by several factors. Yes, people have emotional problems. In closing our residential psychiatric facilities during the ‘90s, we hoped that medications and individual care would fill the gap. Sadly, the infrastructure was nowhere near ready to support the increased mental health demand. Vietnam, Iraq and a growing poverty gap have magnified the shortage of access to mental health available to several generations.

And yes, the weapons have become more deadly. I can kill someone with a handgun or even a knife. But I cannot kill or maim dozens of people before anyone even realizes what is happening. Can we agree that no one needs an AR-15 type rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition to protect their homes or to hunt?

We also have a whole new generation of media fanning the flames. Right or wrong, we cannot go back. The technology that puts a world of knowledge at our fingertips also makes instant notoriety for a person that craves that kind of attention. We must at least explore the possibility that some people become enamored of or inured to this type of killing.

I will readily admit that I do not know the way to stop these killings. I believe a combination of many factors has caused the problem and thus there are many layers of solutions that will be required to begin to control it. Can we agree that we should all pull together and explore all possible options to stop this scourge on our nation?

Corynne B. Courpas


We’re a republic, not a democracy

This is in response to Carl Burdette’s recent [letter to the editor, Sept. 10] about the slavery issue that the founding fathers had to deal with. Mr. Burdette’s [letter] was brilliantly written down to the last sentence.

The founders, however, were not trying to create a democracy. Creating a republic was their ideal, and that, in fact, is what they did. When exiting the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked what type of government did the members decide on. His famous response was, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” The word ‘democracy’ is nowhere in the Constitution. Article IV, Section 4 states that the United States guarantees to every state in this Union a Republican Form of Government.

The major author of the Constitution, James Madison, also railed against a democracy in the Federalist Papers, saying that it provided for the opportunity for too much “mischief.” The bottom line is we are governed by and live in a Constitutional Republic, like it or not.

Randall Bradford


We do not want a dictatorship

Why is the Republican Supreme Court, Attorney General Barr and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell giving this president what he wants when it comes to him making money from his business? We do not want to be like North Korea, China or Russia. If we do not vote to turn this country around, it could happen. Dictatorship we do not want.

Why did AG Barr book the president’s hotel for a party? I thought he was protect the constitution, not beak it. And the president kicking people with deadly illness out of the country. That is just sick. We are not like that. This president has a very cold heart. Now he rescinds his order to kick the ill people out of the country. It is very sad that he would think of it in the first place. What is it with the cabinet secretary of housing buying a dining room set for more than than a food service worker makes in a year?

Williams Stevens