I own guns. I can also read, and I know what ‘a well regulated militia’ doesn’t mean

In our hands

When is enough enough? How many times do we have to have a mass shooting at one of our schools, or anywhere else for that matter, before our spineless politicians in Washington take action?

I am a gun owner. I believe in the right to bear arms. Our Second Amendment calls for “a well regulated militia.” Well, where on earth are the regulations? It is unconscionable that an 18-year-old can walk into a store and purchase not one, but two assault rifles with virtually no checks in place.

Unfortunately, our thoughts and prayers don’t do much to address this issue. What does address it is our votes. The vast majority of Americans support commonsense gun control. You have the power to effect change in Washington. Regardless of your party affiliation, vote for representatives who will effect change and vote out those who will not.

Let’s finally put an end to this terrible madness.

- Jeffrey S. Simkins, Overland Park

My single issue

For years, I have criticized single-issue voters, such as my fellow Catholics who vote for candidates in favor of abortion restrictions but ignore those candidates’ other serious flaws (lying, megalomania, sedition).

However, I am strongly considering becoming a single-issue voter on gun regulations.

I would not make handguns for self-defense or rifles for hunting illegal, but I would vote only for candidates who actually do something toward passing gun laws demanding universal background checks without loopholes, raising the age to buy guns, requiring gun locks, banning assault weapons, banning bump stocks, promoting red flag laws and notifying the FBI whenever someone buys body armor.

Even many NRA members support these commonsense measures. The NRA itself is bankrupt (morally and financially), and Bambi can’t shoot back.

Any senator or representative who will not support such measures must be fired. They must not be allowed to hide behind “thoughts and prayers” anymore.

- Mark Johnson, Kansas City

They must act

Actions speak louder than words. The words of sympathy from our elected officials after yet another mass shooting are meaningless when not followed by meaningful legislation. The very least Congress should do is ban the sale of assault weapons and ghost guns, and make it illegal to own either — period.

Accepting campaign contributions from the NRA and those who produce and sell guns is shameful. Too many of those in office are in the pockets of the gun industry.

The life you save may include yours or someone you love.

- Susanne Shutz, Praire Village

No big hopes

Like many of us, I vividly remember the somber news of the Sandy Hook massacre of 20 innocent children and six adults. At that moment, I thought that surely a crime so heinous would shake the conscience of even the most adamant pro-gun advocates in Congress and bring about some form of gun-control legislation. I was wrong.

I would like to believe that Tuesday’s mass killing of 19 children at an elementary school in Texas, along with the slayings of 10 innocent Black shoppers in Buffalo, New York, on May 14, might finally be the catalyst to invoke realistic action toward fighting the proliferation of guns in America.

But I won’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

- Eddie Clay, Grandview

Fitting memorial

As we all know, we must not politicize mass shootings. Rather, now is a time to offer thoughts and prayers to the victims and families. Even after a period of mourning, there is nothing we can do to control guns because we must not infringe on the right to guns enshrined in the Second Amendment.

In this paralyzing climate over gun control, I offer a modest proposal.

We should erect a monument, ideally in front of the National Rifle Association’s headquarters, that recognizes the sacrifices of the hundreds of Americans who have lost their lives in mass shootings in service to the Second Amendment.

The great advantage of such a monument is that, after a mass shooting like the one this week in Texas, we can all come together as the names are affixed and remember those who died for our right to keep and bear arms, and remember why we can do nothing to control guns.

I look forward to gun rights advocates starting a GoFundMe campaign for such a monument.

- Bob Yates, Kansas City