Readers React

Lafayette, Chattanooga and Charleston shootings: It's the guns, stupid

To the editor: Another day, another mass shooting in America — the latest in a theater in Lafayette, La. Cue the predictable debate about movie theater security, metal detectors and armed guards. ("Lafayette shooting renews debate on movie theater security," July 25)

A couple of weeks ago, after a shooting in Tennessee, the shiny talking point was violent extremism. And a few weeks before that, the gun slaughter at a church in Charleston, S.C., put the media and politicians in a frenzy about the Confederate flag.

Three different incidents in a short time with three different profiles of the shooters, the victims and the purported cause, yet we continue to ignore the common denominator: guns. How many more tragedies will it take before this nation gets serious about sensible gun legislation?

Valerie Burchfield Rhodes, Laguna Niguel

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To the editor: I do not want to go through metal detectors, have my purse searched or be scrutinized when I go out for a good time with my family or friends. But if that will get me home safe, then I am willing to endure this inconvenience, and I think most Americans would agree. This would be something new in this country, but people would get used to it.

We live in a world in which people use guns to get their messages across. People have political, personal or irrational anger that they unleash on innocent victims. We need to do all we can to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

I understand that putting up metal detectors and training personnel would be a costly endeavor, but are our lives not worth it? We are willing to send billions of dollars to other countries for security; why not finance our own safety?

Miriam Fiber, Los Angeles

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To the editor: This article skirts the real question.

Why didn't the Charleston, S.C., shooting renew the debate regarding security in churches? Why didn't the shooting at Los Angeles International Airport renew the airport security debate? Shouldn't the 1.37 school shootings every school week since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre (according to the group Everytown for Gun Safety) cause a security debate about schools?

The elephant in the room on this issue is giving mentally ill individuals legal rights to guns. It appears that the media as well as Congress and its constituents have become inured to the barrage of shootings and simply discuss Band-Aid solutions or even skip it.

For the sake of public safety, let's hope that changes.

Roger Sievers, Irvine

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To the editor: How could we stop at theaters? What about churches and other places of worship where there are large gatherings of people? What about such places as grocery stores, department stores and big-box stores like Lowe's and Home Depot?

What about parks where families gather on weekends? And what about the beach or even any packed restaurant during breakfast, lunch or dinner?

Some places may be a bit less confining than a theater, but when someone wields a semiautomatic, high-powered gun, the damage can be just as bad.

We talk about security to catch someone trying to commit a mass murder, but we object to background checks and investigations of these people before they are allowed to have a weapon. And even if they steal or have access to a family member's weapons, it doesn't change the fact that you can't have tight security everywhere people gather.

Larry Keffer, Chatsworth

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