To the Editor,

The recent tragic murder of 26 people in Connecticut has resulted in a firestorm of opinions regarding gun control. I thought I would share mine.

First, and foremost, we should all pray for the families of those who lost their loved ones.  The loss of those so young is a loss for which there is no complete recovery. No child should have to die a tragic and violent death, and no parent should have to bury their children. The sorrow felt by so many in this situation is heartbreaking.

Each time something like this happens we feel the need to do something to keep it from happening again.  Society as a whole rises up and demands answers.  We all want to know how to keep this from happening again. The answer to that desire is not an immediate response based upon emotion. The answer to this tragedy should not be politicized, or polarized by groups with their own agendas.

A psychologically challenged and troubled young man, for reasons still unknown, committed a horrible act of violence and murder upon six year old children. Those are the facts.  We have heard that he had anger issues bad enough for his mom to consider having him committed for mental health treatment.  We have also heard that she had taken him to the gun range in an effort to connect with her son.  How many of the recent mass shootings have involved individuals who reportedly have mental health issues? People who do not suffer from some form of mental or psychological issues do not commit mass murders of children; shoot up theatres; or kill and wound their fellow soldiers.

The answer is not to take guns away from law abiding citizens. The answer is to identify those who are a potential threat.  Parents know their children better than anyone else. Parents need to take steps to address behavior like that exhibited by the shooter in Connecticut.  Schools, parents, neighbors, all can be more proactive. Part of the problem with our society is parents are either afraid to parent, or too busy to parent. Parents need to parent their children.

In Texas those citizens who qualify, take a test, and abide by the law can obtain a concealed hand gun license. They can then carry a concealed handgun with them almost everywhere they go. There are exceptions to this rule. A gun in bars, for example, is a bad idea for obvious reasons. No guns in other places, not such a good idea.

Texas does not allow CHL holder to carry their weapons in schools, churches, or hospitals. CHL holders are not criminals. CHL holders do not commit acts of violence or mass murders. Those people who have committed the recent acts of murder and mass violence did not rush into a police station and start shooting; they went into places where they knew it was unlikely they would meet armed resistance. These people, unstable or not, do not pick targets that can fight back.

I do not think every citizen should be armed. I do not think the government has the right to disarm us either. Your right to protect yourself and family is an inherent and natural right. We have more than enough laws already to control the sale and purchase of weapons, they just aren’t enforced. Barack Obama’s administration has prosecuted 40 percent fewer gun violations than the Bush Administration. You don’t achieve change by prosecuting fewer violators.

China now wants to join the debate and demand that we have more gun control. Really? The nation with one of the highest rates of human rights abuses wants to discuss our problems. Well, hello pot this is kettle…wasn’t it just a few days ago the AP released a story where a mentally unstable young man entered a Chinese school and killed and wounded several student s and teacher before being subdued? He did it with a knife, not a gun. If China wants to run my country let them come over and try.

There is no way to keep a mentally unstable person from committing acts of violence. If his motives are not discovered, or his actions not noticed, he will carry out his plan. There is nothing we can do to prevent a determined and unstable person from committing a crime unless someone reports their actions before the crime is committed.

I have no pervasive obsession with guns. I own weapons to protect myself and my family from criminals and psychopaths. My weapons are not evil, they are just guns. I believe that if one of those teachers had been carrying a weapon this shooting would not have lasted as long and may have resulted in the death of the shooter, rather than the children. We must recognize that evil or sick people will continue to commit acts of mass violence, regardless of the gun laws. We see what happens when shooters go into places where no-one is armed, and criminals will always be armed.

Rodney Pat Ramsey,