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Too close to home

Just a few years ago a student at a nearby school wrote a hit list — people at his school he planned to kill.

What followed was told to me by a well respected member of our local law enforcement.

The paper fell out of the students backpack on the bus- and picked up by another student. That person had the courage, and judgment, to take the paper to law enforcement. Recognized as a serious threat, the potential shooter was identified and an arsenal taken from the home.

As our country lives through the horror of another school shooting, we learn that almost every perpetrator of these mass murders had prior contact with school or law enforcement personnel.

We need “Extreme Behavioral Threat Assessment.”

The Republican governor of Arizona, Gov. Ducey, has a plan for intervention in situations where an individual clearly threatens their community — it’s a start.

In a few weeks too many of us will push the faces of 19 murdered children out of our minds. And the sad truth is that we will soon hear of another massacre somewhere in the U.S. What will it take to get real change? Of all the wealthy, developed countries in the world, only the USA has this ongoing carnage.

The USA had over 45,000 gun deaths in 2021. France had 2000.

Too many politicians have caved in to the NRA.

When Obama was elected, some folks went on about ‘they are coming to take our guns away.’ We now have more guns than people in this country. I know of no law abiding citizen who had their guns take away (including myself). The gun industry is making a lot of money and a lot of people — and children — are dead.

Stephen Wall MD, Waynesville

Dr. Wall was a founding member of the KARE child abuse task force in Waynesville.

Ban assault rifles

We have all watched in horror at the events in Uvalde, Texas. Most of us are probably wanting to scream at government officials at all levels of government, “Do something about this!” and rightfully so. How many of you know that in North Carolina, ducks, deer and other wild game have more protection from this kind of gun violence than our children do?

How do I know this? Because N.C. hunting regulations do not allow hunting with AR-style weapons, or using extended magazines, or exploding bullets. Hunters know that if they go duck hunting with an AR-15 and exploding bullets, any duck they manage to hit will shatter like a clay pigeon on a skeet range.

Well little children’s bodies shatter too. Remember reporters were saying some parents were being asked to provide DNA samples? That was because some children’s bodies were so shattered they could not be visually identified. That is how gruesome the scene was. That is what exploding bullets do.

I also know that banning assault weapons with extended magazines and exploding bullets will not impinge on the gun rights of owners of other types of guns. I know because between 1994 and until it expired in 2004 from congressional inaction, these weapons were banned in this country. No black helicopters landed in your front yard, and no swat teams broke into your home to confiscate your guns. Since the ban expired, mass killings have tripled in number, and in almost all events with double digit casualties, the weapon was an AR-15 style gun.

If you want to do something, call members of your congressional delegation and ask them to explain to you why in NC, ducks and deer are protected from assault style weapons and bullets without complaints about 2nd amendment rights, but our children don’t have the same protection. How can they explain that discrepancy? How can they be pro-life and not want our children to have as much protection as ducks and deer? Then tell them to get busy and fix it.

Jane Harrison

Waynesville

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