Re “Your ‘thoughts and prayers’ are meaningless. To stop mass shootings we need to do this” (Marcos Breton, June 15); “Will shooting of a congressman be a turning point for unity?” (Editorials, June 15):
Marcos Breton, though astute in citing gun proliferation, misses the mark in his discourse about prayer. Prayer is active, not passive, and in labeling it as “less than nothing,” Breton implies it has a negative affect. Many people have been buoyed by prayer following tragedy. Prayer is not cowardly or illusory. Prayer is not an expression of denial, but is an intimate confrontation and conversation on its subject, one that should not be relegated to the status Breton renders it.
Kenneth Rhoades, Merced
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Breton is wrong
Marcos Breton is wrong. Thoughts and prayers do help the people who believe in thoughts and prayer. When Dylan Roof shot up that church, victims forgave him, because they believe in thoughts and prayers. Breton also is wrong that we need more gun control. If the government kicked in everybody’s doors tomorrow and took their guns, all they would get would be registered guns. Outlaws would still have guns. People with guns are what stopped James Hodgkinson from walking up to that dugout and using all his ammo. The only way to stop some one from shooting all of the fish in a barrel, or a dugout, is to let the fish have guns.
Joe Phelps, Citrus Heights
Breton is right
Marcos Breton is completely and utterly on point. For those of us who have asked our representatives to do something about guns, ammunition and the efforts of the gun lobby, it’s hard to know what’s next. I so appreciate your public, loud call for more action on all our behalf.
Lyra Halprin, Davis
Marcus Breton can’t see outside his box. His opinion is that people who give sympathy or encouragement through prayer are cowards. I value our Second Amendment and my prayer life and do not appreciate being referred to as a coward.
Charles Samuel Weber, Fair Oaks
Men and guns
Addressing the prevalence of guns should be part of the discussion. But guns are hardly the root of violence. They don’t fire by themselves. The root of violence is man’s ego. Yes, I did say man and not human, because more than 90 percent of mass shootings are carried out by males. Males who thought that girls should like them, that they didn’t deserve to be fired, that their candidate should have won, that their ethnicity is superior to another. Until males can learn to manage themselves rather than vent their anger on the world around them, violence will continue.
Melissa Hallas, Orangevale
We need serious and effective national gun control as found in New Zealand, Australia and other countries. Gun freedom, as practiced in the United States, is the major reason for needless deaths. There are real-life gun control models in use around the world that would vastly reduce gun deaths in this country if our politicians had guts to do what is right. They do not. They are all afraid of the NRA. I am a lifetime gun owner and user but support gun control models like those now in use in many other very free and productive countries. I even support controls that will restrict my usage if it saves all those lives.
Doug Sutherland, Roseville
The horrific violence against Republican congressional members illustrates the divide in our country, and shows us that the Democratic Party will go to great lengths to incite violence by shouting down our First and Second Amendment rights.
Paul Bruzza, Rocklin
James Hodgkinson shot into a crowd of Republican members of Congress practicing baseball for a charity exhibition. Given the deterioration of civility by those central to our nation’s political life this was easily anticipated. Our civic culture has been coarsened by careless comments such as: “So if you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you?” Or, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”
People at the fringes hearing “dog whistling” such as these will respond with violence. We the electorate when assembled in the “Public Square” must agree to disagree within the bonds of civility. If we the electorate set a good example, perhaps our leaders will follow.
Philip J. Eulie, Rancho Cordova
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