A woman holds a sign during a rally against guns and white supremacy in the wake of mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

I am convinced that appealing to politicians to change gun laws in any meaningful way will never work. As one definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result, expecting meaningful change by appealing to the politicians is insane. But meaningful change is possible, necessary and inevitable given the crisis of violence and mass shootings in our country.

The way to effect this change is from the ground up, with grass-roots pressure by the public to force divestiture of holdings in companies that manufacture, distribute and sell guns, especially military assault weapons, large-capacity magazines and other weapons of mass destruction that have no purpose in a civil society [“Gun accessories for sale on Google, Amazon sites,” news, Aug. 7]. If the concerned public would boycott companies that produce guns and not allow their assets to be invested in any gun manufacturers, we quickly could effect a lasting, meaningful change — just as the United States did to apartheid in South Africa and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. did to Jim Crow laws in the South. Let’s start a revolution and put a “Divest of Guns Now: People Over Profits” sign in every yard.

Gary F. Colton, Kensington

Regarding the Aug. 9 front-page article “Assault weapons ban gets fresh look”:

Members of Congress will most likely try to pass the most politically palatable (i.e., ineffective) gun legislation for which they can garner bipartisan support. In the aftermath of the El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, massacres, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said expanding background checks and red-flag laws “will be front and center” as Congress considers bills to address gun violence.

There is no easy nor single answer, but banning military rapid-fire weapons of war should be the first piece of legislation. Assault weapons aren’t needed to kill deer or shoot rapists, and allowing anyone to own a weapon that can kill nine (or more) people in 30 seconds is insane.

Liz Reiley, Alexandria

Regarding the Aug. 8 front-page article “Trump warned by NRA on background checks”:

When it comes to guns in the United States, Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the National Rifle Association, calls the shots. He says dance; Congress dances. When he says lay off enacting new gun legislation — done. The only way he can wield this kind of power is by throwing bags of money at the front door of Capitol Hill. Our representatives continue to blow smoke in our faces by telling us they will look at the gun problem.

No, they won’t. They never do, even after 20 years of innocents being slaughtered and our police having to continually put themselves in the line of fire to protect all of us. Regardless, Congress is resolute in its acceptance of all this loss of life. The president was elected to lead. Congress was elected to represent. Mr. LaPierre was tasked to lobby for guns. Who is best at his job?

Bob Bascelli, Seaford, N.Y.

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