Because the government refuses to pass serious gun-control legislation, there is a good solution for forcing it to do so. The international community should boycott all travel to the United States until serious gun-control action is taken that will convince the world it is reasonably safe to travel here.
I have friends in Europe who refuse to travel to the United States due to gun violence. We need all international travelers to do the same. It is the only answer.
Jim Coyle, Falls Church
I woke up Monday morning to the news of mass killings in Las Vegas. With a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, I tried to go about my business, with varied success.
I remember feeling this way on April 19, 1995; April 20, 1999 ; and Sept. 11, 2001. I worked then for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. One thing I learned during those years is that we can all have what Alexander calls a "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day." This is why I refuse to own a gun.
As a former weapons-trained law enforcement officer, I have a healthy appreciation for guns. You can feel mighty powerful holding an M-16 assault weapon — especially after you just shot a round perfectly onto the target during annual training. But what happens if you take a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day and infuse it with a weapon and ammo stored in your home? Lots of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad things.
We can debate the Second Amendment together another time. Suffice it to say I've stood face to face with men like Stephen Paddock, and nothing is going to convince me that anyone needs to own dozens of guns.
Stacy Korbelak, Odenton
Legislators, have some empathy and put yourselves in the position of the survivors and the families of the dead. If you can't conjure any empathy over gun violence, then get out of public office, because so many of us who do vote are sick and tired of your procrastination, refusing to take definitive action to make our surroundings and social venues safe. Show loyalty to the safety and interests of the American people instead of bowing to the National Rifle Association.
Be creative in coming up with solutions. Instead of working on tax reform, which may hurt many of us, introduce legislation that places inordinately high taxes on ammunition and bans certain types of it.
Carole Jennings, Silver Spring
After reading the Oct. 3 editorial "The worst kind of American exceptionalism," I urge all Americans to study the reasonable and effective rules controlling gun ownership that Australia enacted under a right-wing prime minister, John Howard. There are extensive police checks, a written test and a waiting period before licenses are issued for a specific weapon. It works well.
As an American who spends a lot of time down under, I am heartbroken to see that it can be done and that thousands of American lives could be saved.
Nicholas Hammond, Washington
After Sunday's shooting in Las Vegas, I want to ask our lawmakers, when will my rights be considered? When will they address my rights to feel safe, to allow my children to go to large gatherings or even go to school, to pray in church, to ride Metro without fearing that some evil person who has purchased guns legally will start firing his or her weapons at me or my loved ones?
The people of this country are tired of hearing that the National Rifle Association is invincible. I'm tired of hearing "prayers for the people who were injured." Take action. Protect your constituents with stricter gun-control measures.
Martha Yates, Arlington
I am a gun rights advocate and firmly support the Second Amendment. I own handguns. I learned to shoot at an early age from my father, who was in law enforcement. I am an infantry combat veteran of the Korean War. I am absolutely opposed to civilians owning any form of assault weapons and multi-round magazines. The only reason for these weapons is to kill people, and they belong in law enforcement and the military.
My proposal: Let shooting ranges have these weapons and rent them to people to shoot on the premises.
Carroll Rueben, Montclair