Letters to the Editor: My father was killed in a mass shooting in 1957. This is what’s different now

A mourner leaves flowers at a makeshift memorial in San Jose for the nine victims of a May 26 mass shooting.
(Getty Images)

To the editor: My father and two co-workers were shot to death in 1957 at a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital. This was considered a workplace massacre back then, similar to what happened last week. (“A disgruntled worker, a targeted attack and nine victims in San Jose mass shooting,” May 28)

There were, however, two important differences: the number of victims and the killing tools used.

In both shootings, there was an employee with a grievance and possible mental illness. But in last week’s slaughter, the body count was 10 instead of three. My father’s killer had only a shotgun with a couple cartridges and a revolver holding only six rounds. The San Jose killer’s handguns had large-capacity magazines that could each hold 15 rounds of ammunition.


We may not be able to get rid of human grievance and mental illness, but we can get rid of battlefield assault rifles and high-capacity magazines by voting out people like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and like-minded legislators.

Jerry Small, Venice


To the editor: As we send our prayers for those who lost loved ones in another mass shooting, does anyone ask what God is praying for?

Do you think God is praying that we don’t pass sane gun laws — that we don’t ban assault rifles or do not require background checks? Or is God wondering how many deaths it will take before we act?

Bob Calvert, Oxnard