Don’t let a school tragedy happen here | Letters

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

It is a verbatim statement of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The supreme court ruled in 1939, unanimously, that the Amendment protected the citizen’s right to own those firearms that were ordinarily military weapons.

Does that mean that we each are allowed to own an RPG or a bazooka?

I am of the mind that we need to readdress this issue, in depth. The cowardice of the legislative bodies at federal, state and even local levels to confront the need for better control of weapons is abhorrent, allowing a continuation of mass shootings that exploded into our consciousness with the Columbine massacre.

How can we begin? Even though every new purchase of a personal weapon was to be registered and background checks on the owner were extensive, the reality is that there are already 350 million guns in this country.

Are those owners going to post-register their guns? I doubt it. Is there a solution? Perhaps it must begin with harsh laws about sentencing for any crime committed with a gun.

Whatever the solution, every legislator, at every level, must become engaged in the discussion. There never has, and never will be, an excuse that there is nothing we can do. Every time the news reports another of these tragedies, we are all shocked and saddened by the needless loss of precious lives.

Many of these shootings have involved young people, in schools. Does the dialog begin there? It should be incumbent on our children and our grandchildren to include everyone in their universe.

The people in Florida are just like us in the islands. This could never happen in our schools, right? Remember when there were several murders in the county? We are not so isolated that these horrible tragedies can’t happen here. I ask our school superintendents, “Do you have a plan in place to deal with a school shooting?”

Ed Sutton

Orcas Island