Again, I listened to the news and cried. Another mass shooting, another senseless act of violence that could have been prevented by sensible gun laws. An 18-year-old Texan not old enough to purchase liquor in Texas was able to buy assault weapons whose only purpose is to massacre people.
Gun owners indoctrinated with the false belief that they will lose their right to bear arms; senators beholden to the wealthy gun lobby; the irresponsible media playing everything over and over for ratings and, as a consequence, glorifying the killers; the scarcity of mental health professionals; and finally, the stigma of mental illness. Could these be some of the factors contributing to all this bloodshed?
Leah Glicken, Farmington
I believe the Second Amendment’s defined right to bear arms is reasonable, and I am not opposed to the sale and owning of high-power, rapid-fire weapons. So those who’ve read this think I must be one of those right-wing conservative “cold dead hands” zealots. Think again, because I also believe our forefathers never intended their carefully crafted Constitution to be used as it is today to allow and encourage the proliferation of military-type weapons by some citizens. Thorough universal background checks are long overdue, and our nation’s majority agree. Further, every weapon purchase approval must be preceded by a licensing process that includes a written exam, a weapon specific proficiency test, and a permit for the specific weapon being purchased.
Yes, public security must be adequate and properly administered for the times we live in. Yes, it takes a village to raise a child, and our villages need to step up. Yes, mental health support must improve. But let’s start with what appears to be the catalyst for our country’s gun violence record. It is far too easy for people with bad intentions to buy the weapon they need to carry out their mission. That must end.
Hiram Kelsey, Southington
The latest in a series of many mass killings have also conjured up a new vision for me. I see Caligula, the cruelest emperor of Rome, looking down on us, sacrificing us at his gladiatorial games to demonstrate his power. His cruelty gives him pleasure and creates fear and terror, reminding us that he can do whatever he wants.
The U.S. has become more like ancient Rome than the democratic republic envisioned by our forefathers. Senate Republicans have put their own interests before the welfare of the American public and refuse to legislate gun control reform. Their only concern is staying in office, which means that they are in the pockets of the NRA and special interests that guarantee them the money and votes to stay in power. These Republicans are devoid of empathy for their fellow man, are not interested in their responsibility to the people of their country, and are untouched by the unnecessary and tragic loss of children to heinous acts of violence. Yes, Caligula.
Rosemary Noonan, Tolland
If the children of Republicans were among the too many murdered children in our country, I wonder if they would take up “a domestic terrorism bill” and support background checks and gun control. Is not their inaction, and self-serving voting record, partly responsible for the shootings that have taken so many lives? When is enough enough?
Perspective on the week’s biggest stories from the Courant’s Opinion page
Constance L. Mindell, West Hartford
Tax revenue, social justice and economic engines for entrepreneurs, among other justifications for legalization of recreational marijuana, have been passionately advanced under the domes of many state capitols. These actions represent lack of vision and denial. The projected benefits from decriminalization of possession of marijuana, coupled with the economic boon and tax revenue from selling marijuana in Connecticut, is a Potemkin village erected to hide the ravages of an intoxicating agent and convey to its citizenry that they do not have the talent to create legitimate economic sectors to enhance quality of life and to reinvest in disadvantaged communities. The optics are shameful when a psychoactive agent that impairs judgement and reflexes is added to the arsenal of other legal intoxicants like alcohol and legalized gambling, that have destroyed the lives of people with addictive tendencies.
If anyone questions impairment from recreational pot use, ask yourself if you would find it acceptable if your surgeon or pilot smoked or ate marijuana before they served you. Legalization of recreational marijuana is a trend that is perilously close to the cliff’s edge of unintended consequences.
Anthony Peluso, Farmington
Many Tolland residents want property tax base expansion to include more business, taking pressure off homeowners’ property tax. There are approaches to the complex task of diversification. One way is to broaden our consumer base. Tolland failed in an opportunity by not finding a way to build a Miracle League Field. I’m disappointed at the reception the Miracle Field proposal had from our community. This field provides opportunities for children with physical and cognitive challenges to participate in recreational activities and would have been used by more than 300 area children.
Under consideration since 2021, efforts to get this field into Tolland failed when the group indicated they will be going with a site in Vernon where they are being welcomed with open arms. We can argue financial responsibility, although I thought those concerns were reasonably addressed by Miracle League. This project would have brought economic growth. The families and buddies who use the field would have come into Tolland regularly and many would have bought groceries, coffee, pizza and other commodities. If Tolland wants to diversify its tax base, we need to make policy decisions, like welcoming Miracle Field. This will help businesses succeed and will attract new business. This opportunity is lost, but I hope we consider the next opportunity more carefully.
Katie Murray, Tolland