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This is in response to a Sunday Letter to the Editor headlined "In the hands of killers, guns kill." The writer's solution is to take away the guns. Cars kill more civilians every year than do guns. To follow the writer's logic we could prevent all deaths from cars and trucks by taking them away from those who drive. This, of course, is totally impractical and defies common sense. Taking away weapons from citizens in an isolated continent like Australia may work, but would be unlikely to succeed in a country with our population and porous borders.

Many ardent supporters of the Second Amendment agree that a common-sense approach is needed. Even our loquacious president favors eliminating any device which converts a gun to automatic firing. Raising the legal age for buying certain guns from 18 to 21 is a logical small step as is expanding background checks on buyers. How we deal with mental illness is a constant problem not adequately addressed in this country and particularly neglected in Iowa.

Most teachers may not be comfortable with a firearm, but if even a few were trained, able and willing to do so in each school, tragedy might be averted.

Lastly, what is most needed is respect for life. This must be taught in the home. Children do best with parents who lead by example and who are not afraid to say "no" to something that may not be in the best interest of the child. Judeo-Christian concepts of self-worth and respect for others can apply to believers and nonbelievers, as well.

The ultimate answer to our problem of mass killing lies with society and culture. We can't rely on politicians or partisan politics. There is no quick legislative fix here. And we are fools if we think otherwise. - Don Schenk, Sioux City


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