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Letters to the editor on Newtown massacre

12:07 AM, Dec. 22, 2012  |  Comments
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Make gun owner lists public

DE PERE - Why isn't there a public list of gun owners? I know people with guns who should not have passed a background check and yet they have hand guns and automatic weapons. They are not criminals as far as I know. If people are proud gun-toting licensed owners then why isn't there a public list?

Chloe Spoodle

Let God back in

ALLOUEZ - It seems that much has been done by a goodly number of our government leaders to remove God from our schools, society and many government buildings over the past several years. Then they ask, in the Newtown tragedy, why did God let this happen? I suggest that they wake up and return God to our life and we can perhaps avoid more Newtowns in the future.

Al Paul

Opposing gun control is irresponsible

DE PERE - This is a heart-breaking and sickening moment in American history, and only clear thinking - not hysteria - will help solve our epidemic of violence.

We are the freest country in the world because of our constitution, but our freedoms always exist in a context: for example, while we are free to express ourselves, we are not free to advocate the violent overthrow of the U.S. government, nor are we free to shout "fire" in a crowded theater. We are free to hunt, but only in season and only with a permit. We are free to drink alcohol, but only after the age of 21 and we cannot drink and drive. These are reasonable and sensible limits that were designed to protect society: would anyone dare argue that we are "less free" or "unfree" because of them?

President Barack Obama has never suggested, implied or even insinuated that he would support a ban on hunting rifles. The issue is, and always has been, the open and easy access to military style assault weapons, multi-cartridge magazines, and military-grade ammunition. Law enforcement officials across the country have long advocated banning these things, because they are designed for one purpose only: to kill people. No other developed country in the world allows them.

To argue that gun control diminishes our "freedom" is not only repugnant in the wake of this latest massacre, it is wildly irresponsible.

Robert S. Kramer

Look at mental health treatment, not weapons

HOWARD - Sane people have rights, too. Our lawmakers have made it almost impossible to force help on deranged individuals. The individual in Connecticut was deranged; the shooter of Gabby Gifford is deranged; and the killer in the Aurora, Colo., theater was deranged.

Laws, well-intentioned but misguided, put the rights of troubled people over the safety of the general population. Psychiatrists have their hands tied by not being able to treat psychotic behavior until the individual proves by their actions they are a danger to themselves or the general public. When we wait for proof, it's way too late.

Blaming the weapon of choice instead of the perpetrator is an expedient and self-serving answer to absolve oneself of responsibility for previous actions.

We all want these senseless actions to stop. Any discussion that refuses to include the mental health treatment are destined to fail.

Don Seehawer

We need metal detectors, guards at schools

GREEN BAY - We need to take immediate action to stop mass shootings in our schools.

I am writing to ask everyone to request their Wisconsin legislators to enact emergency legislation to install metal detectors and hire at least one armed security guard for every public school in Wisconsin. Every person who walks through an open school door should be required to pass through a metal detector just like we have been doing in airports for many years to protect airline passengers.

We can no longer wait as our country debates gun control laws. That could take years and there is no guarantee that tougher gun laws will actually help stop the problem.

We need to act now and do something effective to stop these horrific, senseless, tragic shootings in our schools. I don't want my children, or anyone else's children, or teachers and staff to die at the hands of a shooter while at school.

Please take 10 minutes our of your day to write to your state representative and state senator and ask them to take action as soon as possible to protect our children. Every single life is priceless and we need to take action now.

Arlen Thayse

Sad reality: Country is flooded with guns

NEW FRANKEN - What a sick country we have become; obsessed with violence and flooded with guns, and yet willing to tell ourselves that that's what America is all about. That our Constitution allows us to protect ourselves from tyranny, and so the incidental horrifying results of this are part of living in this country.

The reality is that this country is flooded with guns, that it is very easy to get a gun, and that we have very few restrictions on criminals or mentally disturbed people getting guns.

I'm afraid that we will put this latest tragic event behind us, accepting that we don't know how to talk about fixing this. We have our rights, and they are more important than the lives of 20 innocent children

We are all complicit in this, and will be even more for the next one. Unfortunately, there will be a next one unless we are willing to see the problem.

Judson Bly

HOWARD - I have a suggestion. Why don't NRA members take their assault rifles, and handguns, and whatever else they feel they need for protection, and volunteer some of their discretionary time stationed outside schools protecting our children. What crazy person would try to penetrate a school with a heavily armed person sitting in a sandbag bunker under a big sign that says "This Facility Protected by the NRA!"

Volunteer firemen and -women put their lives on the line for us, the National Guards does it. Why not the NRA? The best equipped non-army in the world!

Dan Williquette

Was school shooter seeking fame?

ALLOUEZ - This latest shooting has me, along with all of you, mad, frustrated and at a loss to understand how a person can do something like this.

I wonder if some of these people do it for their 15 minutes of fame. They are incapable of doing anything in their lives anyone would notice, and this is their way of becoming famous. If the media were to not disclose their names, would this help? I have thought maybe it could help if there were armed guards in the schools, but would a shootout have any different results?

I am sure some NRA members will disagree with me, but why do we need these automatic weapons and the vests for people who are not in the military or law enforcement? Some may say it is their right to have these products, but there are 20 children who now do not have any rights.

I pray lawmakers will act responsibly and do something about this. I would only hope that for once they listen to professional law enforcement people, and enact a law that will work and can be enforced responsibly.

Al Martens

Better protection of children needed

GREEN BAY - While listening to a Wisconsin Public Radio program, it came to my mind that the 20 young Connecticut schoolchildren slaughtered in cold blood reminded me of the Holy Innocents who were killed because King Herod wanted to kill baby Jesus.

I remember a nun in grade school who talked to us about how those children were called the Holy Innocents because they died, not because they were guilty, but because they died in place of Jesus.

The thought muted to some degree the horror of the killing of 20 very young children. Because those totally undeserved deaths have so shocked the nation that now, hopefully, we are beginning to talk about the violence in our society. When we as a nation come together and address the problems, I feel it will be largely because of the sacrifice of those children and the seven adults and parents.

I hope we will get serious about the availability of guns, violence and video games. I saw "Skyfall" and I found it mainly a celebration of violence.

President Barack Obama called for better protection for children. I agree.

Peggy Burns

Doesn't make sense

GREEN BAY - Many of us find it difficult to wrap our hearts and minds around the school tragedy in Connecticut. Answers to, "How can this happen?" are beyond our comprehension. In my opinion, a more immediate question should be, "What has happened to the American society?"

Each of us needs to look within and question if we can show a bit more respect for others, show empathy for differences, and exchange in sensible and meaningful conversations. What happened cannot be summed up with one answer.

Explanations for such actions go way beyond a "personality disorder" or similar response. Too many times, we see or hear of people in America who are disconnected from right and wrong. Children were not born to act in this way. Early development must include teachings of conscience, work ethic and reacting appropriately to outside stimuli. The general feelings of individuals seem disengaged from what they do or say to you. The recent bombardment of political ads, ID theft, and hacking Internet accounts shows a total lack of respect. We need to re-define what is meant by quality time and possibly gain faith in a higher power. Become more proactive. "Evil wins when good does nothing."

Kenton Immerfall

God offers light during darkness

GREEN BAY - Each day of December we were challenged to find Jesus in those around us and to prepare for his birth. However, Dec. 14 was ugly, brutal, evil, and dark. And yet even with a heavy heart I am thankful for grace, heaven, and ever lasting life. Even on our darkest days God is in the promise of being reunited with those we love that are torn from us too soon. God is in the promise found in Mathew 5:4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." God is in the family and friends who will be there for the mourning families in the weeks, months, and years to come when the headlines fade. God is in the hearts and prayers of people around the nation and around the world who never knew the victims from Connecticut but who are offering up prayers on their behalf. God is all that is good and offers light in the darkness. God is in pain, offering comfort and hope. God is love and I believe that love is stronger than hate; that is faith.

Stacie Kaminski

Responsible parenting needed

LENA - No matter how many guns you take away from people the killing will continue. Where is the responsibility of the parents? Parents, take the children to mental health counselors if they suspect a problem. Take control of parenting, not friending of our children, instilling a sense of responsibility for their own actions. Not giving a trophy for participation, children need to learn how to lose and get back up and try again. Where did all of the responsibility of parents and children, all people go? I was taught that there was a consequence for all of my actions. Adults, parents are the first teachers; no government can fix the problem by controlling what is taught in schools. Faith, love of country, love of each other are being stripped away, over-control of government is part of the problem not the solution. Look at history big government have produced Communism, Nazism, all Socialistic governments have gone bad.

We allowed unborn babies to be murdered as a right; given birth control so our young children think it is OKto have sex. Children, with no sense of responsibility for their actions. No understanding or concern for anyone but themselves. We have taught our children how special" they are even when they have done nothing to achieve, strive to excel, to be the best person they can be.

Big government is not the answer, good responsible parenting is.

Mary Kunze

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