US stuffed with firearms

To the Journal editor:

In 2012, a gunman killed 20 first graders and six adults with an assault rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Since then, victims of school shootings include: 438 people shot, 138 of whom were killed.

On Feb. 14 in Florida, 17 dead and about 14 hospitalized. Among the dead are 14 teenagers and 3 adults.

Is this the country we want? A country where you can be slaughtered at a movie theater, an outdoor concert, in a nightclub and in our schools. Really?

What do our politicians do to protect us? They speak platitudes and they pray while at the same time taking money from the NRA! Top beneficiaries getting NRA money (in millions): John McCain, $7.7, Richard Burr, $6.9, Roy Blunt, $4.5, Marco Rubio, $3.3.

Many Republicans and gun “enthusiasts” often suggest more guns is the answer. America is already awash in guns. The U.S. tops the list of countries with the most guns, owning about half the world’s guns while making up only 5 percent of the world population. We have between 270-320 million guns in this country!

We seem to be a gun-crazed nation. We can’t blame carnage simply on “mental illness.” Every country has mentally ill citizens. Yet we have the most carnage. What sets us apart? Poor gun regulation quickly occurs to me.

Poll after poll shows that the American people, including Republicans, Democrats and Independents do want sensible gun laws. Over half want a ban on assault weapons (some polls are higher), most want background checks (regardless of where gun is purchased), most want a ban on “bump stocks”, most don’t want mentally ill buying guns.

Thirty-three thousand Americans die each year by guns — 33,000! Platitudes and prayer isn’t working! Message to Congress: stop the carnage and stop supporting the NRA.

Karen Martin