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Shootings a watershed moment for society to regain balance

It is the challenge of every civilized society to establish and maintain a balance between the rights of the individual and the rights of the collective society. Throughout all societies, there occur moments when the balance is disturbed.

Will we have the collective courage to go beyond the sorrow that has swept across our nation since Dec. 14? Will we begin to consider more deeply our society, its great strengths and its lingering flaws? Will we have the fortitude to re-examine the full range of rights and responsibilities we share? Will we strike a new and better balance of liberty?

If we fail to meet two critical challenges, we will again and again be shocked and saddened by events of ever more horrifying proportion. First, we must recognize then begin to address our national epidemic of mental illness. We must reach out to those we have been too quick to cast aside.

Second, and equally importantly, we must end our silent acceptance of the pervasiveness of violence. America of the 21st century is a more complex, more diverse, more urban and more densely populated nation than the 18th century America experienced by the founders and framers of our nation. We must acknowledge those vast differences and their implications. Only by recognizing that the frequency and scope of gun violence is within our power to control will we be able to strike a new and better balance between individual and societal rights and in so doing establish a greater level of safety and security for us all.

CARL N. DRUMMOND Dean, College of Arts and Sciences Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne

Answer found in faith in God as secularized nation suffers

I am deeply saddened by the events that took place at the elementary school in Connecticut. It is difficult to understand how something so horrible can happen to innocent people.

The only explanation I have found is that evil exists in the world and has since the downfall of man. God has never said that bad things won’t happen. He has promised to be there with us when they happen. I would like to plead with our nation and its leaders that this tragedy would cause us to move toward God, instead of away from him. I would like to see prayer back in our schools. We need to return to the Judeo-Christian values this country was founded on.

God had blessed this country with prosperity and safety for many years. Perhaps, our movement away from him is the reason our country is suffering.


Legitimate gun-owners’ rights wrongly trampled after tragedy

To control guns in the country, let’s say we ban all guns. We turn them in to the government to dispose of. Who then will have guns?

You say only police and the military should. All the people who have been killed have been killed before the police got to the scene. If only the police have guns, then how will they be able to help you?

We have laws to control guns now. It is illegal for someone to carry a gun on school property. It was illegal for a 20-year-old to possess guns in Connecticut. Yet it happened. I feel so bad for the families who lost little ones. I wish we could go back and make right. All we can do is pray and try to help those families heal.

We need to stop jumping on the gun-control bandwagon. Law-abiding people do not do these kinds of evil acts. I am a law-abiding citizen. Why do my rights have to be trampled on?

Since we say no guns in school, then why are the people not protected? Why were there no armed guards? One true purpose of the government is to protect its citizens. I feel that if a business or organization says no guns allowed, then they are responsible for my protection.

If people want to own guns, then they should have training. Know how to use a gun.

What if someone had a gun at the school? Maybe the outcome would have been different; maybe it wouldn’t. We can never know, but now, without guns in law-abiding citizens’ hands, we know there will be only one outcome.

I own a few guns I use for hunting as well as safety. I teach my kids how to shoot. I do it safely. My guns are locked up when not in use. There are a few guns I would like to own someday. I teach responsibility to my kids.

TIM WYATT Bluffton