Click photo to enlarge
A police officer carries flowers into a funeral service for 6-year-old Noah Pozner, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, in Fairfield, Conn. Pozner was killed when a gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Friday and opened fire, killing 26 people, including 20 children.

The real answer isn't gun control

I understand why everyone is wanting to change the gun laws, but I don't think that is the correct direction. I do not own a gun. I think guns are completely unnecessary killing machines. But I think if we look at the quote, "guns don't kill people, people do" then maybe we need to look at why this young man took so many lives. Why do so many people feel the need to take so many lives? People are not being taken care of. A healthy well-adjusted human being is not going to carry out a dreadful deed as this. People need to be nurtured and cared for to prevent the feeling of need to go out and hurt another human being. I think going after the guns can be a starting point, but saving our children before they become so angry they want to hurt someone else is the real answer.

Sara Stenger

Burlingame

President's address was masterful

I hope everyone has a chance to listen to our president's address from Newtown, Conn., on Sunday. He had a difficult job, and he did it masterfully. He more than implied that all parents (i.e. adults) have a never ending obligation to ALL children, not just our own. If we observe behavior from anyone that could possibly jeopardize anyone's safety, it's our duty to act before it happens. It's not so much a gun control issue as a behavior control issue. Aberrant mental health is usually the root of what we perceive as evil. In most circumstances it can be treated, preventing its untreated consequences.


Advertisement

Joel Koransky

Saratoga

Don't take the Second Amendment hostage

While the proponents of guns and right to self-defense are taking the Second Amendment hostage, we should not look further than our own contemporary pop culture as the culprit and responsible for these types of gruesome acts of violence like the one in Newtown, Conn. Let's face it, today our air waves are filled with films, songs, advertisements, video games, and reality shows which use violence, sex and drugs as entertainment to capture and retain the minds of audience. Because violence, drugs, and sex can very effectively sell cars, movies, music, games, food and beverages to our kids, youngsters and under-40 adults. Just take a look at the following list of upcoming movies: Sean Penn's "Gangster Squad," Leonarado DiCaprio's "Django Unchained," Tom Cruise's "Jack Reacher," Bruce Willis' "A Good Day to Die Hard," and Arnold Schwarzenegger's "The Last Stand." Sadly even, the preview of the innocent new Disney thriller "the Lone Ranger" was full of shooting, killing and rampage. Violence, sex and drugs will sell while the minds of the our younger generations are exposed daily to these negative messages.

Ramin Elahi

San Jose

Media needs to stop focusing on violence

As I sat watching the memorial services Sunday for the people whose lives were taken on Friday, I started wondering: Have we weaned our youth from violence? Movies, videos and television programs. All show violence. I think the entertainment media might think about cleaning up their choices of entertainment for our youth. If the media believes showing people being murdered is good, then the media only looks to the dollar factor. What is it embedding in the minds of our youth?

Rich Bortolin

Burlingame

Ban ammunition for assault weapons

I fear the latest mass shooting will bring the same, conditioned response. That is initial shock and horror, followed by the opinions that something should be done, closely followed by the NRA's argument of the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Once again we will hear how it is not guns that kill people, rather only people kill people. Using that logic, it must be that only the bullets actually kill people, since only the bullets come in personal contact to cause the death. So, perhaps a proposal to ban all ammunition used by any assault weapon would be a solution. The NRA lobby can then still enjoy their Second Amendment right and bear their arms; or perhaps use them as clubs.

Paul Oleas

Cupertino

Forget foreign invaders; this is about inner demons

Our right to protection is guaranteed, guns are guaranteed, and guns are sold as part of that guarantee. They promise a swift and decisive act of violence to the aggressor. But what we can employ for the purposes of retribution is now one of the catalysts for our loss of the right to peace of mind.

This is no longer just about foreign invaders, it's also about inner demons. The gun is a tool with specific jobs to do; a crutch is not one of them. If you fear the unknown, seek it out and don't hide behind this myth of retribution. That only promises to make you part of the greater threat.

Paul Wedel

San Jose

Strict gun laws are essential in a free society

If we haven't had enough insane killing of innocent people yet, when will it be enough? A hundred more? Would a thousand be enough to wake us up to action? Younger children, perhaps more babies as targets for madmen that should never have been able to get their hands on guns?

How fanatic and brain washed do you have to be not to realize that strict, actually very strict, guns laws are essential in a free society? No one has the right to demand freedom that deprives others the right to be safe, especially when it comes to mass destruction murder weapons like guns. Gun ownership should not be a license to kill!

What's so sacred about gun ownership that we jeopardize the lives of all others? Gun permits should only be issued after thorough background and psychological checking.

If any doubt, no permit. Guns should be stored under lock and key, inaccessible to other than the permit holder. Collector guns should be kept de-activated, and violation of any gun law result in confiscation of all guns and revoke of permit. Guns outside the home are only for law enforcement and hunting, which again should be restricted to just hunting rifles, not assault weapons.

The fact that many guns used for mass killing were "legally" obtained, further underscores the need for stricter laws and enforcement, not less.

Jorg Aadahl

San Mateo

Momentary outrage will fade all too soon

As we've seen all too many times in the United States, the momentary anguish and outrage of mass killings using the same assault weapons with which we arm our military will fade. The National Rifle Association will see to that. (Why don't they call themselves the National Assault Weapon Association?)

I'd venture my opinion that Americans are among the world leaders in their inability to use logic. The Connecticut school massacre garnered media attention and the anguish of our fellow citizens due to the fact it was an instantaneous event. Beyond this one event, the American gun craze is killing many more than 28 individuals each and every day. Schoolchildren killed in Connecticut? But so are they in equal numbers when they discover the military playthings of their parents and unwittingly kill themselves and others.

Matthew O'Brien

Milpitas

Guns and a Christmas prayer

What is the prayer? That our nation has the will to bring the violence against innocent victims and stops the violence that kills our children. That's it.

Bernard Le Roy

San Jose

Good luck trying to control human behavior

A sick human being puts a gun in his hand and kills 20 children. A drunken human puts the steering wheel of a car in their hand and in any year kills 35,000 persons. A fanatical Islamist human puts the yolk of a jet aircraft in his hands and kills 3,000 people in the Twin Towers. Another fanatic human picks up a knife and slits an Americans throat on TV.

The common denominator in all of these tragedies is "a human being." I would like those superior intellectual liberals , who always believe they can cure all the evil in the world with more laws, to tell us how we control human behavior. All the laws against guns, knives, cars and airplanes still does not stop evil human behavior.

Solve that problem and we can eliminate poverty, wars and God knows what else. Good luck on that plan.

Robert Hales

Saratoga

Stop blaming guns; treat the mentally ill

Anyone who has a slight bit of empathy within their hearts knows how tragic it was to have a "deranged" young man enter a elementary school or shopping mall and kill so many innocent people. However, the "mechanism" behind those killings is not at fault. We as a society have to understand that an "object" does not kill, but the person or persons behind that object did. Every time a "tragic" incident involves a firearm, the first solution on every ones mind goes to "weapons ban". When a person uses a two-ton vehicle to mow down unsuspecting pedestrians on our city blocks, we never hear screams of "auto ban." Why do we as a society automatically understand the driver must have been deranged, rather then blame the incident on the automobile? We need to first find the solution behind the mental health issues that are creating these horrific events, rather then placing blame on an object. Many years ago my mother lost her best friend when her husband shot and killed her. She never once placed blame on the gun, but rather the husband that pulled the trigger. People kill, objects don't.

Walker B. Hunter

San Jose

It's time to overhaul our nation's gunboat mentality

Any meaningful action to reduce gun violence should be more than simply a gun control as most people has talked about. It must include a complete overhaul of our nation's gun boat mentality. Since the end of WWII, our country has involved in more wars around the globe than any other country. If we don't like certain country, we send our troops to crush it, or at least threaten to do so. Our government believes that arms can solve any dispute and execute it accordingly, which makes many of our fellow countrymen believe the same thing. If Obama really wants any meaningful action, he should start from changing this thinking.

Otherwise, it is just another political talk.

Thomas Yang

Los Altos Hills

Making it easier to get guns isn't the answer

Can we agree enough is enough? Can we say "no more guns?" Sure, the NRA can keep supplying the rhetoric, the arms makers can keep supplying the military and law enforcement, even gun dealers can keep supplying the hunters. But make it easy to get more guns? Bigger guns? Faster guns? To protect ourselves from the crazy people with guns? Now THAT's crazy.

Mike Sanchez

Cupertino

The NRA needs to be viewed as a drug pusher

Which major shooting tragedy will be enough to induce a change in our enactment and enforcement of gun laws? What can each of us do to save our children from murder. I can say that many and maybe most of us live happy, safe, full and exciting lives without having a gun in our homes. But the defense mechanism that keeps me silent on gun regulation is simply "defeat." I too readily accept our failure to try to deal with this problem. It starts with our attitude toward guns. I see a glorification of gun ownership to the point of addiction. And the National Rifle Association needs to be viewed as a "drug pusher." The NRA is a friend only to gun manufacturers and sellers. When will we wake up?

Marcene Van Dierendonck

Los Altos

U.S. has more pressing issues than gun control

Before we focus on U.S. gun control legislation as the solution to mass murders, I submit we need to solve several more pressing issues: 1) Why do so many young American men feel so dark and hopeless that they commit suicide by cop and often murder innocent others first? 2) Why don't we have adequate mental health resources in this powerful nation that regards itself as the world's moral compass and cop? 3) Why do we glorify horribly violent TV programs, movies and video games and those who produce/direct them, like Quentin Tarantino now with Golden Globe nominations for his newest movie, touted as his most violent ever?

Diane Abel

Alameda

Time has come to reduce access to weaponry

I am very saddened by the senseless killings of 20 innocent children and their caretakers. In view of similar, equally tragic incidents in the past two years, it should occur to state legislators, but in particular to the National Rifle Association, which has staged a valiant fight against tighter gun controls, that the time has come to reduce access to weaponry for individuals who are not mentally fit to have them, to individuals with prior felony convictions, and to those who have been convinced by NRA propaganda that every citizen should have the means of self-defense in this day and age of increased violence. Such fallacious logic must be countermanded and stricter gun registration and controls must be achieved. As grandfather of two wonderful grandchildren, similar in age to the victims of yesterday's shooting, my heart goes out to the parents who have lost what they treasured so much and deprived them of being the parents they had hoped to be and would have been.

Gus Holweger

San Jose

It's much too easy to get assault weapons

In light of the massacre of young school children and adults at a Connecticut elementary school and the shooting at an Oregon mall, we need to get serious and alter our gun laws.

It's much too easy to get assault weapons and what our lax laws have caused time and time again are guns in the wrong hands.

Celeste McGettigan

San Jose

What's it going to take to achieve changes in gun laws

Enough! What is it going to take for all of us to admit that guns do kill. When so many innocent lives are being taken, even little children, we must take a stand and shout loud enough to our president, our Congress, and the NRA that changes must be made. But along with those changes, we need to ask why we have become such an angry nation, ready to settle a slight, a fight, or grievance with a bullet. Please, let us make our voices heard. We can not continue to watch more innocent lives be taken. Who's to say you or I couldn't be next?

Loretta Du Bois

San Jose

Kick the gun lobby out of Washington

It gets to the point that the issue of guns isn't about freedom, it's about money. It's about representatives who are unwilling to stand up to the NRA. Guns aren't cars, or hammers, or any of the other silly comparisons that get trotted out by the gun lobby. Guns, especially the guns used in this shooting, are killing machines. Every time these shootings play out we're told that serious gun control is simply too complicated or too hard to achieve. I'll tell you what's too hard: telling my seven-year-old nieces that they're safe and that we'd never let anything like that happen to them, and knowing it's a lie. In fact, there are people in Washington who indirectly facilitate these tragedies. That's hard. Kicking the gun lobby out of Washington should be a breeze compared to that.

Kerry Conboy

Monterey

Our culture is too often designed to create killers

I have worked with disturbed kids and families, and am concerned our society prefers to ignore issues of emotional health rather than to address these issues before severe problems emerge. It is the disturbed people coupled with guns that are doing so much damage. I wonder if our culture is ready to look at how we create these killers with our over-competitiveness, pseudo-individualism, alienation, emotional neglect, dissociating, defensiveness and unawareness/ignorance. My daughter is a teacher with children under five, and she sees parents give young kids toys that say at an early age that violence and killing and maiming is OK. Parents ignore their children while talking on cell phones and shopping compulsively. Is there anything you can do to raise people's awareness in your columns about these issues and how our culture and families increasingly are making unhappy fragile explosive individuals?

Peter Pynchon

Carmichael

NRA's efforts equated to terrorism

Why have the legislative and judicial branches of our government been so willing to overlook the meaning of these seven words in the Second Amendment "the security of a free state". There is virtually no aspect of a rapid fire, high capacity weapon in general distribution that contributes to added security of the free state. It has been proven over and over again in the last two decades that these weapons are destroying security rather then adding to it. We need a national registry of owners and sellers of these rapid fire, high capacity weapons, their ballistics patterns, and their magazine capacities.

That doesn't infringe on ownership rights, but it does make visible those who we should be watching closely. By definition the ownership of such weapons is demonstrating psychotic behavior, since these weapons have no value for any aspect of sport that I am aware. Single shot weapons can cause serious harm, but we have to limit weapons that so easily multiply that harm.

The effort that the National Rifle Association has devoted to justifying the ownership of these weapons seems to qualify under our country's expanding definition of terrorism as a terrorist organization.

Gerald W. Hunt

USAF veteran (1962-66) San Jose

Reduce rapid-fire assault weapons

After Friday's tragedy in Connecticut, any caring person should be looking for answers and leadership to stop what seems like an epidemic of mass shootings. What is the solution? Do we become suspicious of anyone with mental illness, and build asylums for dangerous people, like that neighbor who is a little too quiet and hates your dog? Do we train and arm the kindergarten teachers and movie theater employees? Do we put costly guards, surveillance cameras and metal detectors at the entrances to every public space? Or do we reduce the number of rapid fire, high capacity assault weapons that are only designed for killing people in volume? The death toll in mass shootings seems to be rising proportionally to the increased killing potential of weapons, so it only seems logical that restricting the most dangerous firearms has to be part of the solution. We can not continue to do nothing.

Don Whitebread

Mountain View

Mental illness is a national tragedy

Evil did not visit the Newtown community as Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said Friday evening. Mental illness went untreated, misdiagnosed and allowed to fester into a national incident and a tragedy that words and sorrow cannot describe. It is a heartbreaking, disabling but treatable behavior that receives little attention, funding and support from researchers, doctors and much of the insurance industry. Mental illness is not evil but based on your perspective a national tragedy none the less.

Mark Grzan

Morgan Hill

NRA should furnish guards for schools

If our legislators won't outlaw guns, they and the NRA lobby should offer to furnish guards for every school in the United States. Banks have guards to protect their money. Our children are much more valuable than money.

Mary Stephens

San Jose

New York's Mayor Bloomberg has it right

I was horrified (again) by the events in Newtown. As a father of two daughters, I've often had the task of "speaking to children about the tragedy." Many articles and blogs I've read over the past day have been about how to help our children feel safe after a massacre. We can't lie to them, but in helping them to cope, I'm afraid we are lying to ourselves. Our schools, theaters, malls, offices and streets will NEVER be safe as long as we tolerate nearly unlimited gun ownership and a culture that promotes and reveres gun violence. I agree with New York City Mayor Bloomberg: time for a conversation is long past. It's time for immediate action. We obviously can't leave it up to the best Congress that money can buy: it's up to each of us to face the truth and do something about it.

Ken Rosenfeld

San Jose

Is Charleton Heston happy now?

Thank you NRA for supporting a painfully out of date interpretation of the Second Amendment. Is Charleton Heston now happy that yet another gun was removed from 'dead, cold fingers'? The painful, small minded belligerence of the NRA coupled with our elected officials, continues to kill many folks that have not even had the chance to vote. Please, let's get assault weapons outlawed again and forever. And, maybe, just maybe, ban hollow point bullets? And, possibly a license to even purchase a gun? The solutions are too easy, the deaths are too difficult.

Drew Westcott

Saratoga

More bigger, faster guns won't make us safer

Can we agree enough is enough? Can we say "no more guns?" Sure, the NRA can keep supplying the rhetoric, the arms makers can keep supplying the military and law enforcement, even gun dealers can keep supplying the hunters. But make it easy to get more guns? Bigger guns? Faster guns? To protect ourselves from the crazy people with guns? Now that's crazy.

Mike Sanchez

Cupertino

With right to guns comes responsibility

We all know guns are easy to get, deadly, and it is our inalienable right to own them as citizens of this great country. With this great inalienable right comes great responsibility. You know, the kind of responsibility and also courage required to be a true American Patriot, and defend the Constitution of the United States at any and all costs. As awful as this tragedy was, we must have the moral responsibility and courage to place this blame on this hideous murderer as well as ourselves as a society, but not a deadly inanimate object. I personally place a lot of blame on the degradation of ethics in our communities, schools, governments, and corporations when analyzing these types of tragedies in a general sense. In acknowledgment of this societal degradation, now is not the time to restrict the constitutional rights of law abiding American citizens, but quite the exact opposite. Trying to restrict law abiding American citizens' natural born right to protect themselves or their families, properties, communities, and country, is not only a bad idea, it's against natural law and indeed immoral. Therefore, there is certainly no way I can ever consider your remarks seriously, and pray anyone who reads these types of viewpoints recognize them for the absolute unethical injustice they truly are. Those who would trade freedom for security do not have nor deserve either.

Todd Eaton

Aurora, Colo