Law enforcement and other first responders gather outside Robb Elementary School after...

Law enforcement and other first responders gather outside Robb Elementary School after a shooting, May 24, in Uvalde, Texas. Credit: AP/Dario Lopez-Mills

Long Islanders have plenty to say about the Texas school shooting. We are publishing a full page of letters Saturday and Sunday and will continue to share your views in the days ahead.

The Second Amendment, often referred to as the right to bear arms, was ratified on Dec. 15, 1791 [“Carnage again in our schools,” Editorial, May 25]. It was enacted for our citizens to protect themselves. We didn’t have a standing army or a police force. We also didn’t have the “very” powerful weapons that have been invented since then — nor did our ancestors murder innocent children or other Americans en masse.

Something must be done to protect us all from this daily gun violence in our schools and cities. Here are some sensible suggestions that should help save lives:

1) Ban all automatic and semiautomatic weapons. Only police and the military should have access to these armaments.

2) All guns should be licensed, registered and taxed annually (just like cars).

3) Ammunition should be heavily taxed and controlled by the state.

4) Nobody younger than 21 or 25 should be allowed to buy a gun.

5) Proceeds from the additional tax could be used for victims and families of gun violence.

 — Edward Fannon, Merrick

  

Every school in our nation should be equipped with a metal detector at the entrance. There should be only one entrance available to the public and controlled by a buzzer or bell. You wait to be let in. Then you walk through a metal detector. What are we waiting for?

— Kathleen Drew, Sea Cliff

  

When a horrific shooting kills children, gun rights advocates say it’s mental illness while others say there are too many guns. This is not an either/or issue but a both/and issue. Why can’t we limit guns and provide better mental health care?

 — Brian Utnick, Rockville Centre

  

Has anyone noticed that in New York State there have been zero mass school shootings? Has anyone noticed that there has only been one mass shooting in the state? If anyone ever tried to get a gun license here, they’d learn how tough our gun control system is. We also have a Red Flag law. Could there be a coincidence between zero school shootings and a tight gun control system? Some food for thought for other states.

 — Joel Reitman, Peconic

  

It’s Memorial Day weekend. Parades, barbecues, remembrances of true American heroes. But 21 people will be missing from all those events. Because the people we elected and pay to protect them failed. While they hold hearings on UFOs, angry and deranged people are buying military-style weapons that can slaughter people they’ve never seen before. Our elected representatives are responsible for this uniquely American man-made carnage. We love to say “We’re Americans. We can accomplish anything we want to.” No, we can’t. We can’t even protect the most innocent and powerless among us.

  — Chris Marzuk, Greenlawn

  

I am finding it hard to be proud to be an American. The Republicans, so intent on protecting the heartbeat of the unborn, continue to ignore the heartbeats of grandmothers grocery shopping, worshippers in houses of God and innocent children in our schools. Could their hypocrisy be any more blatant?

 — Ellen Fusaro, East Northport

  

Why is it that the same political forces that want to protect the unborn by usurping reproductive rights of women choose to fail to protect the lives of our children who are being slaughtered by gun violence?

— Judy White, Centerport

  

I am a supporter of Americans having the right to own a weapon for sport and protection. The Second Amendment was written to ensure the right of self defense. Our forefathers never conceived of a weapon that could cause so much destruction by one individual. When this amendment was written, it would have required an individual to carry 19 muskets into a building, then fire them one at a time, to cause the destruction of these Texas children. Or convince 19 individuals to march into a school, each carrying a musket to shoot children.

How can this amendment be used as justification for the sale of today’s weapons when they never existed back then?

 — Dom Gervasi, Wantagh

  

Gun owners, like me, merely want something done about guns falling into the hands of the wrong people. More restrictions should be in place on purchases and heavier sentences should be imposed on violators.

 — Gene Reynolds, Ridge

  

Are our representatives in Congress so cowardly, corrupt and insensitive that they can’t enact legislation to outlaw assault rifles and automatic weapons? I think its members should check their own mental health because it’s highly questionable if they do nothing.

 — Richard A. Ross, Merrick

  

I propose that all states that wish to reduce the number of mass shooting casualties in their state immediately pass laws allowing the gun manufacturers and retailers providing the guns used in these bloodbaths to be sued, vis-a-vis the Texas state law allowing individuals to sue a provider or anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion. These terrible times call for a new approach.

— Mary Keogh, Massapequa Park

  

Why are we the only country to suffer from this carnage? It’s time to unite. It is not about taking away freedoms. It is about being free to survive. We must try new approaches to solve this problem for the common good, and put aside our stubbornness based on political and social agendas. We may not be able to come up with a perfect solution, but we must try everything to help minimize crimes committed with guns.

 — Bob Rubin, Glen Cove

I spent 21 years of my life in the military and have been trained with these assault weapons, and that’s where it ends. Assault weapons have no place in our country except for the police and military. The right to bear arms was established in 1791, but this is 2022. It was necessary back then. Our lawmakers should wake up.

 — Robert Hayes, Bellmore

  

Another school massacre. And the answer again is . . . “thoughts and prayers.” Enough already! The Second Amendment stands and will remain standing. The outrage in Congress by gun control advocates will die out as it always has. We are a nation of guns — get used to it. But please: Stop with the hollow “thoughts and prayers” as the only answer to mass shootings.

— Hans G. Wenze, South Farmingdale

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