Regarding the Jan. 26 front-page article “Shooting at Md. mall leaves 3 dead”:

Last week while I was in Israel, my wife called me on my cellphone and asked if I heard what happened at the Mall in Columbia. I had to tell her to hold on while I passed through a metal detector on my way into Jerusalem Mall. When I picked up the phone, she informed me of the tragedy at our frequent shopping spot.

My response was the obvious: “When will the United States get serious about security?”

In Israel, you cannot enter a mall, a restaurant or a public building without going through a metal detector and having your bags inspected. It is long overdue for the United States to implement these security measures.

The police commended employees at the Columbia mall and stated that the mall recently conducted a drill for this type of security breach. That’s all well and good. But this tragedy could have been avoided by having better security at entrances.

How do we prevent a gunman from shooting in a public space? Stop him at the door.

Steven Franco, Silver Spring

The reflexive response to shootings at our public places, malls, theaters, offices, schools, etc. is the predictable debate over gun control. The National Rifle Association and other gun-rights advocates consistently respond that guns do not kill, people do. Let’s accept their premise and ask, who are the people that kill with guns?

Overwhelmingly, males initiate gun violence; the number of women who initiate such shootings is so minuscule as to be statistically insignificant. So if guns do not kill and, therefore, ought not to be banned, where’s the petition to ban men? Rather than arguing about guns, we need to study why males are violent and initiate gun violence.

Emmett A. Coyne, Exeter, N.H.

According to our country’s laws, a 19-year-old person is apparently considered not mature enough to purchase a six-pack of beer or bottle of wine yet can purchase a gun. Huh?

Richard A. Pretl, Baltimore