Gun violence: Charlotte area readers are torn up and fed up | Opinion

Editor’s note: We received so many letters about the Nashville school shooting and the legislature’s repeal of the pistol permit law that we devoted this week’s Forum to those issues.

Moral courage

Another school shooting last week, seven lives lost in Nashville.

The same week, the N.C. legislature overrode Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of a bill that repealed the state’s pistol permit purchase law.

When will our spineless elected officials have the backbone to take effective, decisive steps to eliminate the proliferation of guns in our communities? Don’t hide behind Second Amendment rationale. Our citizens, especially our children, have a more profound right to go to school, attend worship, play in our streets, sleep in their beds — safely, without fear, with hope for a long life.

I am tired of waiting for those in power to show sustained moral courage.

Anne M. Cochran, Indian Trail

Lives over guns

As a mother and a victim of gun violence I find it difficult to fathom how the N.C. legislature voted to override the governor’s veto of a bill that repealed the pistol permit law one day after three 9-year-olds and three adults were murdered in Nashville. Instead for voting to protect its citizens after this tragedy, our legislators voted to make it easier to get guns. How many innocent children (and adults) have to die at the hands of people who are not capable of handling a weapon responsibly before our legislature will prioritize human lives over guns? Shame on those Democrats and Republicans who did not vote to uphold Gov. Cooper’s veto.

Elizabeth Barnes, Charlotte

Not just the gun

While I strongly believe in the Second Amendment, I agree that our communities would certainly be better served with more meaningful and enforceable gun laws. What makes this conversation so polarizing, however, is the singular focus — gun violence. There needs to be a broader more encompassing discussion about parenting, mental health issues and gun safety. It’s a huge disservice to the betterment of child safety, and violence in general, to always blame the gun without acknowledging other contributing factors.

Mike Howard, Waxhaw

Assault weapons

So far this year, 131 adults and children have been killed in mass shootings. We had an assault weapons ban from 1994-2004 that prohibited the manufacture or sale for civilian use of certain semi-automatic weapons and banned magazines with 10 rounds or more. Mass shootings dropped during that decade. We did it once and should do it again.

Jacqueline Briscoe, Hickory

NC senators

American citizens are going through the five stages of grief when it comes to mass shootings. We’ve been in denial for years, we’ve lived in anger and outrage, we continue to try to bargain with lawmakers. Here we are now, at the threshold of depression, possibly knocking on the door of acceptance.

It all is starting to seem hopeless. If Sandy Hook didn’t do it, nothing will. The NRA is too big. The gun lobby and its influence is insurmountable, and we are starting to feel like there is no use in trying. But I am still going to. We have to.

I’ll start by asking U.S. Sens. Ted Budd and Thom Tillis: Who do you serve? Is it the people of North Carolina or your donors?

North Carolina is united on common-sense gun laws. We are all terrified, senators. Our children do active shooter drills more frequently than tornado drills. Tell us, senators, who do you serve?

Lindsey Hamer, Weaverville

Not a hate crime

Seventy four people have died in school shootings this year. When will people stop yelling Second Amendment and start trying to save lives?

After the Nashville shooting, the NRA said better security was needed at the school.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) called for federal law enforcement to investigate the shooting as a hate crime, since it was done at a Christian school. It’s ironic that in 2021 Hawley was the only senator to vote against legislation to protect Asian Americans from hate crimes.

This was not a hate crime, but a seriously ill young woman who had ready access to weapons.

Augie Beasley, Charlotte

Kids are scared

Monday night was a night of tears for my 6- and 8 year-old granddaughters because of mass school shootings — a scenario that likely occurred in thousands of homes across the country. It breaks my heart. We wonder why there’s an epidemic of anxiety and depression among our children.

Republican lawmakers who refuse to even consider sensible gun safety measures may not be the ones pulling the triggers, but their failure to act makes them complicit. They always find something else to blame, usually mental illness or evil actors, instead of the easy access to weapons of war. Their solution, besides thoughts and prayers, is to make carrying guns even easier.

We have to stop the madness.

Dianne Mason, Matthews