It’s back to the gun letters

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Let’s not wage war on each other

I find it extremely disturbing to know that my granddaughter is safer teaching college in China than my grandson is teaching high school in Montana.

I am not anti-Second Amendment. It’s a lie that anyone is trying to take all the guns away. We do have the right to protect ourselves. What we don’t have the right to do is wage war on each other. That’s the only thing assault rifles and high capacity bullet clips are good for.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it until they pay attention. The framers of the Constitution had no way of knowing just how twisted we have gone to create ways to kill each other.

Living in the good old days of the wild west is not the answer. The answer came when it was brought under control. It’s become a war game. Whoever has the most guns, the highest power weapons, the most ammunition, the ability to shoot fastest, wins. What’s next? Grenades? Tanks? Missiles? Don’t worry, the gun cartel is anxious to fill the order. Flooding the country or the schools with more guns accomplishes two things. It guarantees reduction in our population, and makes the gun manufacturers richer.

Polls show that the majority of our population wants these assault weapons taken off the market, and to have sensible background checks. When the Brady Bill was passed, gun killings dropped 25 percent. Wouldn’t you appreciate that if you or a loved one was the beneficiary of that statistic. We can do better than that by not arming these people with weapons of war. I just watched Trump on television spouting off about how no one is doing anything about people with mental problems being able to buy guns. But Trump signed a bill on Feb. 28, 2017, that made it easier for certain people with mental disabilities to buy a gun.

Did he forget about this bill, or did he even know what he was signing, or care?

Arming teachers is the worst idea ever. Are you putting them up against an assault rifle, with a mega-clip, with a pistol?

Any number of horrifying scenarios can occur by stocking schools with killing weapons. We have no right to ask people who are there to teach, to take on the responsibility that the government is shirking.

The politicians who are too busy suckling at the breast of the NRA have warped priorities. Congress doesn’t have the guts to stand up to the gun lobby. They don’t want to lose those big donations to their campaigns. We need to replace them with people who do care enough about our children. This problem is much broader than just school shootings. Arming teachers is not going to solve the overall problem of gun violence. Would you have posted a teacher in Las Vegas? Kids were killed there, too.

It looks like our salvation will come from these young people that have seen more death and destruction of families, coupled with apathy than they ever should have been forced to deal with. They are finding the fortitude to stand up to the powers that be. They will succeed where we failed. It wouldn’t be the first time the youth of this country stepped up, taking on the fight to make positive changes. —Jeri Cardin, Kalispell

Guns don’t make us unsafe (or else the Flathead would be a war zone)

Another school shooting, what a surprise. As usual, to the self-proclaimed liberal “progressives,” the gun, the Second Amendment and the NRA are to blame. They are willing to settle for nothing less than the abolition of all three, convinced that then and only then, can they create the safe utopian society that America is capable of becoming under their wise and enlightened leadership.

To us conservatives, and yes, NRA members, the Second Amendment is there for a reason and should not and legally cannot be easily abandoned. If the history of the 20th century teaches us anything, it is the necessity of an armed populace to prevent those on both the far political left and far political right from being able to use the power of government to create the safe utopian societies that both envision. In that century, and to the horror of millions, this was a hard learned lesson!

So how do we address the real issue outside the fog of politics — protecting our schools and children from those that would do them harm?

Let’s talk about a good first start. According to the Flathead County Sheriff’s Of?ce there are approximately 3,000 concealed carry permit holders in this county alone. Even with all those private citizens walking around with concealed ?rearms, I think most people, including those in local law enforcement, would rightly consider the Flathead to be a fairly safe place. Why would our schools be any less safe if a school teacher or administrator under the same requirements were permitted to be armed in the classroom?

Given the fact that no doubt some of these teachers are combat veterans that have literally “been there and done that,” the present system requiring them to leave their ?rearms at home makes no sense and does nothing to protect themselves or their students. This is something state government, the teachers unions and parents would be wise to consider. Beyond that, the NRA has offered to initiate nationwide and at its own expense, an advanced weapons training program for teachers that would be allowed to be armed in the classroom.

We can have the endless gun control debate later. For now we need to quit the politicking and start implementing real common-sense solutions like these — solutions that with the help of Montana’s governor and state government can be implemented almost immediately and at little if any cost. If we are not capable of doing that, the partisan political dialog will drag on to no avail, while our children continue to die at the hands of mad men in these self-proclaimed, feel-good, “Gun Free Zones”! —Russell Crowder, Marion

Some teachers should be trained to shoot

In a recent article on arming teachers, one of them said, “I don’t have the skills to go against an armed assailant.” Being a retired teacher, I would like to propose a solution. Most teachers say they have their students’ welfare at heart, so listen to this idea.

The U.S. military has bases all over the country and every one has a shooting range, highly trained instructors, a mess hall, and places to sleep. Every one of these dedicated teachers could volunteer several weeks of their summer vacation to become adept at handling firearms and the cost to the taxpayer would be very little.

In all probability the main advantage of this training would be to let a potential shooter know that he would not be able to do his dirty deed without any danger to himself.

All this will never come to pass, of course, because most educators are liberal Democrats and their goal in life is to disarm all citizens. By the way, raising the purchasing age from 18 to 21 is just a feel-good idea. There are so many ways for a future school shooter to obtain a semi-auto weapon, that passing such a new law is a total waste of time.

Just one example: Ruger, Winchester, Remington, Mossberg and others having been making semi-autos for about 100 years. Therefore there are hundreds of thousands of semi-autos out there. What is the honest solution to that? You may try to mention Australia’s buy-out of guns, which wouldn’t work here because we have several million more guns. Also, Australia’s crime rate has gone through the roof since they took away guns. —Richard J. Reed, Kalispell

Teachers must put pressure on lawmakers for real solution

I taught school for 36 years. I was always proud to be a public school teacher.

But now I’m sick. I’m disgusted. And I’m MAD. These emotion were the same emotions I had after Columbine, Sandy Hook and too many other school shootings. I’m sick of the death and damage of children. I’m disgusted by lawmakers who do nothing and I’m mad at everyone including myself.

Here we go again: ?rst, shock, another school shooting; then we will debate when is a good time to talk about it; next the NRA will dig their heels in and remind politicians how much money they donated to their campaigns; lawmakers will run and hide; experts will suggest what we should do; and time will pass with nothing done. Until the next school shooting and we do this all over again. The “new normal”!

The president stood in front of the American people and said, “We will do anything for the people of Florida.” Well, Mr. President, here is what you can do: Support gun control and stop cutting mental-health funding. We need a new rallying cry: “Make schools safe!” And listen to the real experts — educators!

We are the true experts about what’s needed in our schools.

So I ask myself, ‘‘What can I do?” First I ask everyone in education to speak out. NO, yell! Scream at the top of your lungs to every lawmaker both state and federal to do something. To make this their No. 1 priority.

My Lenten promise was to call all three Montana representatives every day and ask them what they are doing to make schools safer. I also contacted my state representative and the governor with the same question. It is up to us to put pressure on lawmakers. If not us, who? And, if not now, when?

Back to mad.

I pray for my fellow teachers who have to walk back into a classroom after a shooting has occurred in a school. How do we make the students understand why nothing is going to change? —John G. LaBonty, Eureka

For Second Amendment AND restrictions

Tragically, our country has been plagued with armed assaults on our schools with no solution on how to stop it.

Unfortunately a solution won’t happen until the violence in television and in the video games that our young people watch is addressed.

The recent assault in Florida brought about such an outcry that our president invited the surviving students, their parents, and faculty members to the White House for a “listening session.” There were a number of suggestions on how to deter assaults from happening again: Banning assault-type weapons, installing metal-detecting equipment like those used at airports, do deep background checks on identified troubled students, and the arming of teachers.

I would like to offer a suggestion, too. Before I start I want to mention that I am a firm believer in the Second Amendment.

1. Outlaw and destroy all devices that can convert a weapon into continuous firing.

2. Prohibit the sale of assault type weapons to the general public.

3. Each school should have a counselor who is able to address the student body in identifying troubled students, and make her/him aware of them. The counselor will determine if law enforcement should be notified or if the problem is within the counselor’s expertise.

4. A metal detection machine should be located at the main entrance (I am against teachers being given the responsibility to carry weapons), and all the rest of the entrances to the school should only have exit capability.

With some assistance, the students should be able to police themselves and enjoy the education experience. No system is perfect! —Poul Houlberg, Kalispell

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