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OpinionLetters

More killings, but Congress won’t act

Visitors leave flowers at a memorial where 26

Visitors leave flowers at a memorial where 26 crosses were placed to honor the victims killed at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, on November 9. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Scott Olson

The Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing of 26 innocents, including eight children and a pregnant mom, is a grim reminder and prelude to the fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings [“Church massacre,” News, Nov. 6].

At the same time, as President Donald Trump paid his respects to the fallen, ordering flags flown at half-staff, he was quick to label the tragedy as a mental health problem. This is despite the fact that he advocated for a repeal-and-replace national health insurance policy that would strip away insurance coverage parity for mental health care.

When the president advocates for limiting access to care, it compounds the public health challenges of mental illness.

Think about it: After the Sandy Hook shootings, there was not one parent who was able to escape the tyranny of imagining his or her child being killed in the neighborhood school. Now, Sutherland Springs affirms that the 2015 church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, is not isolated.

Our leaders can support the constitutional right to bear arms while taking steps to prevent gun violence and passing legislation that supports the emotional well-being of all of our citizens.

Andrew Malekoff, Long Beach

Editor’s note: The writer is the executive director of the nonprofit children’s mental health agency North Shore Child and Family Guidance Center in Roslyn Heights.

While growing up in rural Pennsylvania, I hunted with my father and grandfather. I had a shotgun in my hands at age 12.

I know about guns, and I know that semi-automatic weapons have no place in our society. Once again, the mass church shooting has members of Congress saying that their thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families. Thoughts and prayers are no longer enough! Something must be done!

Perhaps the citizens of this country need to join a class-action lawsuit against our government for failure to keep us safe in church, at school, at a concert, at a movie, at a club, etc.

Marshall W. Myers, West Hempstead

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