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The Texas School Massacre: Why Are We Failing to Protect Our Kids? The Texas School Massacre: Why Are We Failing to Protect Our Kids?
(about 7 hours later)
To the Editor:To the Editor:
Re “At Least 18 Children Shot Dead at School” (front page, May 25):Re “At Least 18 Children Shot Dead at School” (front page, May 25):
My daughter was born three days after Sandy Hook in 2012. She has never lived in a world where terrorism hasn’t been waged on elementary schoolers. She’s cowered in a dark closet or a cramped bathroom during a code red drill while her teachers urged her and her young classmates to stay quiet so the “bad man” doesn’t find them.My daughter was born three days after Sandy Hook in 2012. She has never lived in a world where terrorism hasn’t been waged on elementary schoolers. She’s cowered in a dark closet or a cramped bathroom during a code red drill while her teachers urged her and her young classmates to stay quiet so the “bad man” doesn’t find them.
Because it’s always a man, typically young, who has decided the world has wronged him or owes him and chooses to terrorize those smaller than him. It’s coldblooded murder in a space that should remain safe.Because it’s always a man, typically young, who has decided the world has wronged him or owes him and chooses to terrorize those smaller than him. It’s coldblooded murder in a space that should remain safe.
My heart aches for those parents who have lost their children to such violence. And as a parent, I am furious.My heart aches for those parents who have lost their children to such violence. And as a parent, I am furious.
How dare this country become complacent! How dare this country offer thoughts and prayers as parents lose the most important people in their lives!How dare this country become complacent! How dare this country offer thoughts and prayers as parents lose the most important people in their lives!
We must do more. We need gun reform. We need assault rifles off the streets. We need background checks to keep guns out of the hands of those people unable to handle the responsibility.We must do more. We need gun reform. We need assault rifles off the streets. We need background checks to keep guns out of the hands of those people unable to handle the responsibility.
This is no longer about the right to bear arms. This is now about the right to a childhood. This is about the right to grow up safe. This is about the right to life.This is no longer about the right to bear arms. This is now about the right to a childhood. This is about the right to grow up safe. This is about the right to life.
I call on Congress to prove to the American people that we care about our children more than firearms.I call on Congress to prove to the American people that we care about our children more than firearms.
Fallan PattersonPlantation, Fla.The writer is a public high school teacher.Fallan PattersonPlantation, Fla.The writer is a public high school teacher.
To the Editor:To the Editor:
As a former educator and now a parent myself, I believe we all agree that a school should never be the place for such violence. In 1999, the year of Columbine, there were six shootings in schools. There have been 27 so far this year.As a former educator and now a parent myself, I believe we all agree that a school should never be the place for such violence. In 1999, the year of Columbine, there were six shootings in schools. There have been 27 so far this year.
As a conservative Christian who grew up properly and safely owning guns, after so many of these massacres, I finally am reflecting and asking myself: Is protecting the Second Amendment more important than protecting the life of a second grader?As a conservative Christian who grew up properly and safely owning guns, after so many of these massacres, I finally am reflecting and asking myself: Is protecting the Second Amendment more important than protecting the life of a second grader?
While I still support the right to bear arms, I believe we can borrow from regulated sectors that deal with other deadly devices. Why is it harder to obtain a driver’s license than it is to buy automatic high-caliber rifles?While I still support the right to bear arms, I believe we can borrow from regulated sectors that deal with other deadly devices. Why is it harder to obtain a driver’s license than it is to buy automatic high-caliber rifles?
While my conservative counterparts across the country fight fervently to protect unborn babies, I worry that we are missing the mark by failing to protect our kids already on the playground.While my conservative counterparts across the country fight fervently to protect unborn babies, I worry that we are missing the mark by failing to protect our kids already on the playground.
Along with the majority of Americans, I challenge my elected officials to finally do something about this violent and very preventable social epidemic. I believe it’s time to pass sensible bipartisan legislation that requires more checks for those wishing to own any weapon capable of killings like this.Along with the majority of Americans, I challenge my elected officials to finally do something about this violent and very preventable social epidemic. I believe it’s time to pass sensible bipartisan legislation that requires more checks for those wishing to own any weapon capable of killings like this.
Chase RigbyNewport Beach, Calif.Chase RigbyNewport Beach, Calif.
To the Editor:To the Editor:
All schoolteachers in this country should go on strike until sane gun laws are enacted. Enough is enough.All schoolteachers in this country should go on strike until sane gun laws are enacted. Enough is enough.
Nancy R. BrewsterPlymouth, Minn.Nancy R. BrewsterPlymouth, Minn.
To the Editor:To the Editor:
Re “An Emotional Biden: ‘Why Do We Keep Letting This Happen?’” (news article, May 25):Re “An Emotional Biden: ‘Why Do We Keep Letting This Happen?’” (news article, May 25):
President Biden is right to express sympathy for the families of the children killed in Ulvalde. He’s right to express outrage on behalf of the American people who are tired of senseless gun violence. He’s right to say, “We have to act.”President Biden is right to express sympathy for the families of the children killed in Ulvalde. He’s right to express outrage on behalf of the American people who are tired of senseless gun violence. He’s right to say, “We have to act.”
But that’s weak tea. Of course we have to act. But how?But that’s weak tea. Of course we have to act. But how?
The president must tell the American people what to do to compel a recalcitrant Congress to act. Please, Mr. President, tell me and my fellow Americans what to do. In concrete terms. I’ll do it, and so will many others.The president must tell the American people what to do to compel a recalcitrant Congress to act. Please, Mr. President, tell me and my fellow Americans what to do. In concrete terms. I’ll do it, and so will many others.
Bradley KempLawrence, Kan.Bradley KempLawrence, Kan.
To the Editor:To the Editor:
In response to the latest episode of gun carnage in our country, President Biden implored the nation “to turn this pain into action.” He asks when will we have the courage to stand up to the gun lobbies.In response to the latest episode of gun carnage in our country, President Biden implored the nation “to turn this pain into action.” He asks when will we have the courage to stand up to the gun lobbies.
On Friday, many prominent politicians, including Gov. Greg Abbott and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, are scheduled to join fellow opponents of sensible gun control legislation at the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association in Houston.On Friday, many prominent politicians, including Gov. Greg Abbott and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, are scheduled to join fellow opponents of sensible gun control legislation at the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association in Houston.
Will any of these policymakers have the moral integrity to support gun control measures and speak truth to the powerful N.R.A. in the aftermath of the massacres in Buffalo and Uvalde, or will they merely call for more armed guards in our schools and public institutions as the solution to gun violence?Will any of these policymakers have the moral integrity to support gun control measures and speak truth to the powerful N.R.A. in the aftermath of the massacres in Buffalo and Uvalde, or will they merely call for more armed guards in our schools and public institutions as the solution to gun violence?
To use the words of the prophet Isaiah, now is the time for America “to beat swords into plowshares.”To use the words of the prophet Isaiah, now is the time for America “to beat swords into plowshares.”
Peter SchmidtPhillipsburg, N.J.Peter SchmidtPhillipsburg, N.J.
To the Editor:To the Editor:
It does not matter about the motives, mind-set or mental state of the shooter. It is very simple. If the 18-year-old did not have the ability to buy a semiautomatic military-style weapon in this country, then it is likely that the little children and teachers who died Tuesday would be alive. This shooting is on the backs of those federal and state legislators who have voted against gun safety laws.It does not matter about the motives, mind-set or mental state of the shooter. It is very simple. If the 18-year-old did not have the ability to buy a semiautomatic military-style weapon in this country, then it is likely that the little children and teachers who died Tuesday would be alive. This shooting is on the backs of those federal and state legislators who have voted against gun safety laws.
Ellyn RothManhattanEllyn RothManhattan
To the Editor:To the Editor:
As we are unlikely to see effective gun control legislation anytime soon, the most important task to prevent school shootings right now is for officials to improve at identifying potential shooters. As we are unlikely to see effective gun control legislation anytime soon, the most important task to prevent school shootings right now is for officials to improve their ability to identify potential shooters.
In the coming days, we are likely to hear repeated the conventional wisdom that there is no typical school shooter, that these people are unknowable. But intensive case studies of school shooters have identified patterns of behavior.In the coming days, we are likely to hear repeated the conventional wisdom that there is no typical school shooter, that these people are unknowable. But intensive case studies of school shooters have identified patterns of behavior.
A school shooter tends to be socially isolated and incompetent. Profound humiliation over perceived ostracism is coped with by murderous revenge fantasies, which is characteristic of severe personality disturbance rather than psychotic illness or autism. In the bright, happy eyes of the children they murder, the shooter sees all that they believe they were denied.A school shooter tends to be socially isolated and incompetent. Profound humiliation over perceived ostracism is coped with by murderous revenge fantasies, which is characteristic of severe personality disturbance rather than psychotic illness or autism. In the bright, happy eyes of the children they murder, the shooter sees all that they believe they were denied.
Based on similar cases of the school shooters at Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Parkland and Columbine, I would not be surprised if the shooter at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde fits this profile.Based on similar cases of the school shooters at Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Parkland and Columbine, I would not be surprised if the shooter at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde fits this profile.
Paul SiegelNew YorkThe writer, an associate professor of psychology at Purchase College, created the Behavioral Intervention Team for identifying distressed and potentially violent students at Westchester Community College.Paul SiegelNew YorkThe writer, an associate professor of psychology at Purchase College, created the Behavioral Intervention Team for identifying distressed and potentially violent students at Westchester Community College.