Your Opinions: After El Paso, Dayton, calls for action on gun violence

Gun Rights

This weekend, I am in Washington, D.C. with 2000 other Moms Demand Action volunteer leaders from all across the country. Together, we are learning how to prevent all forms of gun violence occurring every day in the U.S. As a veteran, I feel that I am again being called to action.

Are you also ready to act? Here in California, we are fortunate to have senators who support background checks legislation. You can help Moms Demand Action empower volunteers in other states whose senators do not yet support this common sense gun reform legislation by texting CHECKS to 644-33.
Karin Brennan

I watched a news clip showing the President reading off a teleprompter denouncing the shootings in El Paso, Tx and Dayton, Ohio. Nothing he said came from his heart! Someone had to script his speech. What a shame that this man lacks the basic emotion of sympathy ! Sociopaths lack certain emotions. Sociopaths can just as easily take a human life as they would step on an ant without consideration of either. Maybe the man that republicans put in office is a sociopath.

Nino Y. Williams

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I am confused by our presidents words. He urges the need for the public to carry weapons to prevent tragedy Yet El Paso, a city in Texas, the belt buckle of conceal and carry, just had the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. Well I am sure the president is going to tell us if it weren’t for the conceal and carry law the numbers could have been much, much higher.

Yet most troubling is his message that it is Mexicans we need to be fearful of, since Mexico is sending us the most violent criminals, the likes we have never seen. Well, the fact is ALL the mass shootings starting with Columbine, Las Vegas, Orlando, Parkland and Gilroy and the shooting i El Paso to name a few were committed by Americans. Our president needs an new message. Oh I’m sorry is this to soon?

Richard Sutherland
San Diego

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The U-T welcomes and encourages community dialogue on important public matters.

Two more mass shootings to address. Here’s the cause:

* We are a country AWASH in guns, including automatic and semi-automatic weapons – truly Weapons of Mass Destruction

* Ours is a society, consciously and subconsciously, of violence – accepting and even glorifying violence as a way to address real and perceived problems; coming from the highest recognized levels of our society, including the White House.

Fear, hatred and violence reign. What do do? I think you already know what to do. All it takes is political will.

Craig Jones
San Diego

Dayton, El Paso, Gilroy Garlic Festival, Virginia Beach, Aurora, Illinois, etc. All carried out by right-wing terrorists emboldened by Donal Trump’s rhetoric. He insights his weak-minded followers to carry out his fascist agenda so he could maintain plausible deniability for the acts.

Trump on TV saying that these immigrants, these people of color are horrible horrible people. Time to impeach and imprison.

Anthony Kopec

Ted Cruz and other Republicans now speaking out explicitly against white supremacy. Rupert Murdoch’s Trump loyalist media outlet “The New York Post” calling for a ban on assault weapons. Republican Senator Pat Toomey calling for universal background checks.

This momentum is crystallizing and building very quickly. Good news for the majority of Americans who have always embraced these beliefs. Really, really bad news for a chunk of the Trump base, who aren’t racists and aren’t gun nuts, but who are, at the very least, “wary” of any public policy that supports this thinking that they view as part of the antifa agenda. I will not call this a prediction. In the age of Trump, prognostication, like satire, are dangerous.

But it could be, if trending continues, that the “October Surprise” could come in 2019. If we have a national, unified consensus about the inane fear mongering of non-whites & non-Christians replacing “true Americans”; and we allow our gun policies to be based on what most people want vs. what some people care about most; this could be the real implosive fracture on the right that we’ve been anticipating ever since Trump declared his campaign for president.

Who Trump truly is was not the breaking point. But universal reputation of racism and gun rights extremism just might be.

David Gray
La Jolla

Thoughts and prayers, that’s all we need to stop these mass murders in America! It has been working so well! NOT!!! We need action! Ban assault weapons of all kinds! The countries that have so have dramatically reduced the number of attacks and deaths due to gun violence.

The second amendment was never intended to include assault weapons. Let’s do something intelligent besides thoughts and prayers.

Al Meier
El Cajon

Trump said all the correct things in his speech on Monday morning, which surprised me. Nice speech. Could have been written by Barack Obama or Bernie Sanders. Wow.But what also surprised me was the total lackluster tone of the speech when he said that gun violence and racism are bad. Remember the teacher on Ferris Buellers Day Off movie?

Just like him. Trump sounded bored.Then it hit me …. he was dog-whistling to his many racist folks with guns … hey, “they” made me say these things but I don’t believe them and neither should you.His energy will re-emerge strongly at his next rally when guns are again great and racism and white-nationalism is back with renewed emphasis.

May God Bless America.

Gilbert E. Field
San Diego

Dark, racist, political rhetoric killed these people. I blame Trump for that.

William Franklin
Mission Hills


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When acting White House spokesman Mike Mulvaney calls the shooters involved in the recent mass murders “sick people” he is actually going one step further in the Trump Administration’s aiding and abetting of racism and hate crimes by offering the accused a get-out-of-jail-free card by copping an insanity plea.
J. R. Ranney
East Village

Holy Toledo! A major tragedy has occurred in Ohio, where nine people were killed and 29 injured in a mass shooting, and President Donald Trump couldn’t even name the correct city where the violence occurred in a major speech to the nation, naming Toledo instead of Dayton.

Kenneth L. Zimmerman
Huntington Beach

Surely everyone sees the irony in Trump’s denouncing hate following the tragic shootings in El Paso – a shooting explicitly targeting Mexicans and immigrants, groups about which Trump has made hateful statements (‘rapists and murderers’) and taken hateful actions.

The other part of the equation, in both the El Paso and Dayton tragedies, is our nation’s ready access to assault weapons, which could have been limited in 2004 when Dianne Feinstein introduced a bill to reinstate the assault weapons ban, but which 60 NRA-funded Senators voted down, following which, more than 200 Americans have been killed in mass shootings with assault weapons. And tragedies like this will continue as long as we have legislators who care more about NRA lobbyists than the safety of their constituents, and a president who embraces white nationalists and sees no problem with his hate-filled messages directed at Mexicans, Muslims and African-American members of Congress.

Denise Beckfield
Pacific Beach

After two mass shootings in less than 24 hours, Republicans have been quick to say Donald Trump and his racist Twitter rants and anti-immigrant and white-supremacist speeches have absolutely nothing to do with the dramatic increase in gun violence in this country. They say that there are no possible solutions to our out of control gun culture, and besides, the 2nd Amendment is a Constitutional right that cannot be touched. How interesting that Republicans tout the Constitution when it supports their agenda, but adamantly refuse to even acknowledge Trump’s blatant dismantling of the Constitution, ignoring of our laws, obstructing justice, and disgracefully attacking anyone who challenges him. I pray for our democracy if Trump and Republicans are allowed to stay in power.

Jennifer Granite
Rancho Penasquitos

Captain Obvious will say it outloud. We need to remove ALL guns from our streets. Throw a trillion dollars towards the mother of all gun buyback programs. Sell archery kits to those fearing home invasion. Let the fervent assault weapon owners maintain ownership but only inside their local gun range.

Difficult? Unreasonable? Unfair? Sure. But so what? Enough is enough.

American freedoms require some sacrifices. Things like violent criminals, road rage, Mondays, white males and mental illness won’t go away. So, let’s do the hard thing. We need American boldness and American vision now more than ever.

Michael Foulks
Bay Park

I find it offensive that Beto O’Rourke, while some victims of the Wal-Mart shooting had not yet even been identified, was using this situation as an opportunity to help his campaign for president of the United States.

He blamed our current President for the killings! O’Rourke stated that there have been so many hate crimes in our country in the last three years because of racism. The Texas governor and El Paso

Mayor and other officials, both Republican and Democrat, actually said that this situation should not be political. And they were joining together to pray for the victims and their families. But Beto chose to use this tragedy to promote himself! Disgusting!

Laurie Nemeny
Mira Mesa

As a life-long Republican, who venerates the Second Amendment and possesses two firearms in our home, I disavow the cowardly legislators who won’t enact sensible gun control legislation. One can only pray the NRA will choke on its own bile and go bankrupt. It is not coincidental that the El Paso terrorist fulminated against the “Hispanic invasion,” Trump repeatedly described asylum seekers as an “invasion.”

White racists will deny any culpability by Trump for this and Dayton. He is morally responsible for these shootings and the torture and deaths of children and asylum seekers at our Southern border. He is a narcissistic, megalomaniac, temper tantrum driven President who is a low IQ pathological liar and manifestly incompetent and grossly ignorant. He delights in using presidential power to try and wreak vengeance on his enemies and reward his supporters including incompetent appointees and the most corrupt administration in American political history.

T. R. Huntley

This country is “infested” with white nationalist terrorists who have been given encouragement and permission to act by Trump’s very words. And it is not Congress as a whole that is avoiding the issue — it is the Republicans who are fearful of Trump and who are bought and paid for by the NRA.

Every time a bill is proposed or passed by the House for sensible gun regulation (e.g. extending the prohibition of the sale of assault weapons), Mitch McConnell and the Republicans vote it down or refuse to even bring it to the floor for consideration. I’m 80 years old and have lived through a lot, but nothing compares to what this President, the NRA, and guns have wrought.

Nancy Gross
San Diego

How many more people are going to be killed before pro NRA senators do anything?

President Trump is partly to blame for his hateful, divisive rhetoric and favoring white nationalists, and Mitch McConnell for not allowing any bills passed by the house, including background checks and red flags to go before the senate, for the mass shooting that have been happening too regularly.

The house and senate need to pass a bill to take effect immediately banning all military assault type weapons and high capacity magazines with more than 10 rounds and any of these weapons and magazines must be turned in to authorities within 30 days or face large fines and jail time. That is the only way to stop at least some of these mass shootings. These weapons are not for hunting or target shooting, they are designed to fire rapidly and kill people.

George Eckert
San Diego

Question. If you and your family/ friends were directly confronted by an armed lunatic intent on doing harm,which unfortunately is becoming more common,and you somehow had fast access to a gun yourself,would you choose to use it?Can anyone honestly answer no?Only a coward or an idiot would allow their loved ones to be brutalized under those circumstances without using the best possible defense.Almost every one of these mass shootings is started by a bad person with a gun and usually only ended by a good person with a gun.

Why is it so difficult for some to understand that the evil is within the person pulling the trigger.The gun is just a chosen method.Most anti-gun laws do nothing to limit that evil.

Bill Lane

I fully support the “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms.” Any citizen should be allowed to own as many single shot, muzzle loading muskets as they want.

In addition, this right is already infringed. It is almost impossible to own a fully automatic weapon, a short barreled rifle or shotgun, or a silencer. (See The National Firearms Act of 1934.)

We, who favor stricter gun control, are only asking that these limits be expanded to include semi-automatic assault rifles and large capacity magazines.

(In regard to this last item, who can tell me that you need a magazine capable of holding more than five rounds for hunting or target practice?)

I am also a little tired of being a citizen of a country whose citizens own more than three times as many guns per person as the next most gun owning country, Serbia.

Al Weiss
San Diego

People who mass murder innocents come from a variety of backgrounds and motivations. Whether it is ideological extremism, mental illness, a grudge or some combination, there will never be a common denominator here. It will be far too difficult to identify and stop these people. The mental illness focus is more about political cover for fearful politicians who tacitly believe gun-lobby support is more important than stopping mass murder. The common denominator is guns – military-style weapons designed for killing large numbers in minutes. The mantra that “guns don’t kill people” is a sick notion designed to push rights that were never envisioned in the 2nd amendment. Banning assault rifles and high capacity magazines is the effective solution, and I believe the majority of Americans want this.

Evan E. Becker
Point Loma

Time to cut the BS.
No more thoughts and prayers and video games are the cause.
The facts show that almost every random killing is not done by immigrants or MS-13, but white christen right winger males.

These same shooters also watch and support Trump and are active posters and viewers of right wing hate media.
Time to end the right wing media whose position is if you are not a northern European christen you are the enemy, and the worst perpetrator of hate is Trump, from his Mexicans don’t send us their best, to a complete Muslim ban to his hate speeches on Baltimore and Chicago.

The motivation for the white right wing hate is trump and his enablers and the cancer must be eliminated either by vote or impeachment.

Mark Garber
Rancho Penasquitos

We Americans tout the U.S. as the greatest country on earth. But I have to ask, would the government of such a country passively accept more than 250 mass shootings already this year, the latest being in El Paso and Dayton?

Would its Senate deliberately ignore a reasonable House-passed bill ensuring background checks for gun purchases? Would it condone the unrestricted sale of assault rifles used in mass killings? Would it complacently accept unrelenting racism, hatred, and white supremacy spewing from its chief executive that most assuredly spawned much of the deplorable record number of mass shootings? A truly great country would in no way tolerate regular wholescale slaughter of its citizens, would immediately legislate to keep assault weapons out of the hands of people who have no business possessing them, would rightfully expect and strongly demand that its president demonstrate common decency and compassion for all individuals.

Certainly, America once used to be a great country like that but, I have to ask, with a heavy heart, is it any longer?

Tom Stapleton

Thoughts and prayers won’t do, mental health issues won’t do, arming more citizens definitely won’t do; The only thing that can be effective in curbing these mass shootings like the recent spate of massacres in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton Ohio is through the strictest gun legislation. Not just common sense gun laws like universal gun registration or banning assault weapons, but how about banning all weapons including assault weapons, handguns, ammunition, etc.?

Every one of these deadly weapons of mass destruction currently in the hands of civilians, responsible owners or not, should not be allowed in a civilized country. Let’s ban gun shows, gun stores, shooting ranges and everything that contributes to this wanton gun culture. Furthermore there’s one more thing on my wish list: get rid of the guy in the White House.

Donald Trump is the source of much hatred in this country that promotes this raw violence and division through his hate filled speeches that incite sick individuals to carry out these horrible crimes.

Rudy Villaseñor
Chula Vista

What about the parents

Background checks, high capacity magazines, and bullet identification would all reduce the number of people slaughtered. But I don’t hear, see or ear anyone talking about the parents of the deranged individuals executing those atrocities. Don’t the parents know what their progeny are doing, what they are buying, what they are thinking, who their friends are? Are they encouraging their offspring through their own white supremacy beliefs? If so, they are culpable and answerable to this nation. Talk with your children–whatever their age. Today if possible.

John Lynn

It is time for our elected officials of all stripes to remember whom they represent and it is not just the NRA. Forget the photo op prayers because they are meaningless. The need to enact meaningful laws is now. Action always speaks louder than words and now it is time for all of them to act on our behalf.

It is time for the NRA to withdraw their insane obsession with automatic weapons and large capacity magazines. They are killing Americans, city-by-city. Simultaneously, they openly corrupt our governing bodies with loads of cash to buy votes and block any attempt to pass reasonable gun laws. It is time to stop them.

It is time for social media to become more responsible for online content and use the technology available to them to notify the proper authorities about those who openly tell us they intend to kill. People are dying weekly and social media covers their eyes and ears demonstrating insensitivity and lack of civic responsibility. It is time for them to cease supporting the lunatics of the world.

It is time for the media to remind us of all the horrible gun tragedies, which have shocked us over the past years. It is time to mobilize all Americans to openly demand our governments locally, statewide and nationally, to act now and to continually remind government of its responsibility to take action now.

It is time for each of us to ask ourselves, isn’t it time?

Harold Myers

Let’s face the facts that no one is safe anywhere in the USA and it’s not the kind of a Country a majority of Americans want. Let’s blame those in power that are doing nothing to make life better, the politicians, the President, multi-billionaires and companies, who refuse to come together to make America a safer and better place to live and its problems are getting worse. Make America Great Again is just another lie. The American Middle Class and Poor need to rise up like our founding Colonists did in 1776 and take America back from those controlling it.

Mark Lehman

In 1994 Congress passed and President Clinton signed the “Assault Weapons Ban,” which expired in 2004. In light of the recent shootings in Texas and Ohio, it seems to me that Congress should now again pass the same 1994 “Assault Weapons Ban,” and have it expire in six months. Since the bill is already written, it could be voted on and hopefully passed next week, and certainly Congress could come up with a new 2020 version in six months time.

Daniel R. Collins
San Diego

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