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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: The U.S. is filled with guns and hatred. That’s a deadly combo

Trump
President Trump delivers a speech Monday about the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
(Associated Press)

To the editor: Mental illness. Video games. Are you kidding me? (“Trump blames internet, video games and mental illness — not guns — for mass shootings,” Aug. 5)

In his address to the nation after the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, President Trump talked about “disturbed minds,” “demented individuals” and the internet. However, multiple studies have shown there is no positive correlation between violent video games or the rate of mental illness to the rate of violence in societies.

History has shown that whether it was Hitler and the Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan in America, Serbian fighters in the Kosovo conflict, the Turks in World War I, the apartheid regime in South Africa, the Hutu in Rwanda, Al Qaeda or Islamic State in the Middle East, or white supremacy groups in the U.S., “insanity” was not the driver of atrocities. Hate was — hate fueled by anger.

Even without racism or xenophobia, we have a gun access problem in America. Enough is enough. The only ones who have “disturbed minds” are our legislators (i.e., McConnell and the Republican-controlled Senate) who refuse to act on gun control.

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Broderick J. Franklin, Rancho Palos Verdes

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To the editor: News flash for Trump: People worldwide suffer from mental illnesses. Violent video games and hate-filled social media exist in every part of the globe.

To lay blame for these horrendous back-to-back mass murders on lax mental health laws and violent video games is dodging the real problem: This country has more guns than people.

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If we the people want to see effective changes in gun legislation, then we need to vote with knowledge and conviction. Seek out candidates at the federal, state and local levels who offer strong gun reform legislation and vote for them.

Our future as a civilized nation depends on what we do in 2020.

CeCe Wilkens and Jack Van Sambeek, Bonita

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To the editor: I am alarmed that many people are giving credit to Trump for having delivered words of compassionate support and understanding to the people of this country. That is not what I saw or heard.

Anyone who is familiar with the Trump M.O. would have recognized the expressionless, dispassionate delivery of words that were put before him on a teleprompter, thoughts and phrases that any normal president would deliver, usually inspired by genuine feelings and a thoughtful mind.

I’d bet anything that Trump’s message was carefully delivered with the caveat, “Do not go off script.” Those who wrote that speech did a masterful job of giving Trump a bare-bones message to impart to the country, knowing most of us are well aware of his true mind-set and inclinations to speak what he really thinks.

His attempt to deflect and direct blame for the heinous acts onto video games and mental illness are predictable diversions, which he has employed throughout his tenure. Trump will never accept blame, ever — count on it.

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Mass killings as we’ve seen in recent times are usually not indicative of a mental illness, but they are a sign of hate, a mind-set in which “others” are regarded as inferior and the killer is correcting what he perceives as a wrong.

Don’t be fooled by Trump’s single act of humanity.

Sylvia Lewis Gunning, Thousand Oaks


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