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HOLLY J. PIERCE

Santa Rosa

Teachers and guns

EDITOR: Here are a few problems with arming personnel at schools: those armed need continual training or they may not act during a crisis (witness Deputy Scott Peterson in Parkland, Florida); they may shoot innocent students by mistake; they may be shot by police by mistake; many mass shooters are suicidal and may not be deterred by the thought of return fire. In fact, many kill themselves after their rampage.

Tackling gun violence with better mental health support would take more funding and years to develop. More immediately, we could restrict the flow of the weapons of war. Otherwise, our kids are drowning, and we refuse to turn off the spigot.

It’s too heart-rending — and expensive — to keep appeasing a vocal minority who feel their safety and personal freedom depend on everyone’s unfettered access to assault weapons.

MATTHEW GOLLUB

Santa Rosa

Thompson and AR-15s

EDITOR: Rep. Mike Thompson’s refusal to support, or even consider, a ban on assault rifles of the AR-15 type is a negative mark on his otherwise reasonable gun safety agenda.

During a town hall at Hanna Boys Center on Saturday, he reported on work of the Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, which he chairs, and on a proposed federal law that would tighten gun buyer background checks.

But when an audience question probed his views on a possible civilian assault weapon ban, his reform resolve slipped. With more than 15 million of those weapons already out there, he answered, any ban would be pointless. That was basically his only comment, and there were no more questions on the subject.

No gun-safety measure will produce overnight results. But ending the sale of AR-15s permanently would move us in a positive direction. We can’t wait to protect our children, ourselves and future generations from these heinous weapons of war. Congressman Thompson, please reconsider your passive position on them.

RAY SCHUSTER

Sonoma

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