The shooting victims in Newtown, Conn., are all our children and President Obama is correct. We are not doing enough.
It's time for a peace-loving, enlightened society to do away with the public's ability to purchase high-capacity ammunition clips and prohibiting the availability of military-style assault weapons, both of which serve no purpose other than to inflict mass carnage, should be at the top of the list. We also must improve our nation's mental health system and increase the reporting of mental health records to the NICS background check database.
But there are other needed reforms that we should consider as well. These are not radical ideas:
n Requiring background checks for every gun purchase (74 percent NRA member support)
n Requiring background checks on gun shop employees (79 percent NRA member support)
n Prohibiting individuals on the terrorist watch list from purchasing firearms (71 percent NRA member support)
n Requiring gun owners to report to police when their guns are lost or stolen (64 percent NRA member support)
n Establishing minimum standards for concealed-carry permits (63 to 75 percent NRA member support).
We need this nation to run the tide in favor of common sense protections that can prevent gun violence. If the 26 victims in Newtown, including 20 5-year-old and 6-year-old babies do not inspire us to take our solemn responsibility more seriously, nothing will. There have been more than 500 reported deaths-by-gun incidents in the United States since New Year's Day.
We can't tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. And change we must.
Frank Hairston, Ravenna Township