To the editor: I work close to where Wednesday's shooting took place in San Bernardino, and I am heartbroken over this tragedy. I wish I could have done something. I wish the suspects could have been stopped from buying guns. I wish all the victims had a gun to protect themselves. I wish I could have been there to help save the lives of the innocent. ("San Bernardino massacre probed as terrorism, FBI says," Dec. 4)
But it's too late for wishes. So I cope with this tragedy by pledging I will do everything in my power to make sure these terrorists do not win.
I am a Muslim American from Riverside. What terrorists want more than anything is to divide us. They want us to fear them. They want to erode the tolerance and empathy that make up our social fabric, but we must not let that happen. Their defeat will come from our resilience and cohesion. Greater than their guns and bombs are our tolerance and desire to live our lives together in peace.
The terrorists will be forgotten, but the victims and brave first responders will always be with us. For I wish to be like them. And I know it isn't too late for this wish to come true.
Hamza Hashmi, Riverside
To the editor: No more prayers and teddy bears. The San Bernardino massacre should be the last straw in the national hand-wringing response to murderers and their guns. Resignation to these incidents results in inaction.
It's time for our national leaders to call a halt to this madness and institute an emergency moratorium for six months on all gun sales, then conduct an emergency summit conference to debate and take action against the proliferation of guns, particularly assault rifles, and unlicensed gun sales.
Americans account for 5% of the world's population and nearly half of its privately owned guns, and studies are showing how mass murders by guns continue to rise.
Let's not allow the San Bernardino victims to have died in vain as so many others have already.
Bob Ladendorf, Los Angeles
To the editor: No amount of gun control in the world would've stopped the attack in San Bernardino on Wednesday. I can't remember the last time any card-carrying member of the National Rifle Assn. was involved in a shooting where many people were killed, but somehow that organization is blamed every time something like this happens.
It is not the NRA that is killing these people or in any way encouraging fanatics to commit these acts of domestic terrorism.
Charles Reilly, Manhattan Beach
To the editor: With the shootings in San Bernardino and elsewhere recently, it must be clear to all that we have lost control of guns in America. So we are in a "post gun control" period in this country.
Guns don't kill people; bullets kill people. Our only hope is to go after the killers. After all, a gun is just a bunch of metal and wooden parts without a bullet.
As a start, how about a $1 levy on each bullet to be put into a fund for victims of gun violence to pay for this grotesque aspect of American culture?
James Manifold, Claremont
To the editor: I wonder what kind of reception will be given by foreign governments to refugees from the United States fleeing the violence in their country.