It appears that news coverage nowadays consists of two main topics: turmoil within the White House and Congress or mass shootings. Unfortunately, both have become business as usual.

In the case of mass shootings, it has become a question of the right to own a gun (an AR-15, for example) and the right to live and breathe. Seventeen students and adults at the high school in Parkland, Florida, did not have that choice. The body count does not include the memories their classmates will have for the rest of their lives.

It would never have occurred to me, in the 1960s, that someone would enter my school and start spraying bullets because he has some unnamed hate. Now each shooting is blamed, conveniently, on each individual’s mental illness – apparently untreated.

The second half of the equation is swept under the rug: How did the unstable 19-year-old individual obtain an AR-15 and ammunition?

If Congress continues to believe it can bear the weight on their consciences of these continuing tragedies, which are unique to this country, this issue will further divide a nation that needs no more division.

A better system of background checks won’t keep a normal person from owning a gun. The present system, riddled with loopholes, has paved the road to hell.

Any thoughts and prayers from those in power keep getting cheaper by the dozen.

Doug Yohman

East Waterboro

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