‘I sat in my classes carefree … times have changed beyond recognition’

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Students of area High Schools rally at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after participating in a county wide school walk out in Parkland, Florida on February 21, 2018. RHONA WISERHONA WISE / AFP PHOTO

They will never know the times I grew up in. I walked to school unafraid. I sat in my classes carefree. I was a child and had the gift of living like one. My school was not brutalized by bullets. My streets were not threatened. Evil was the exception,not the rule.

Times have changed beyond recognition. Evil is now the ruling operative. This from a woman who has always seen the glass as half full. I am struggling to maintain that perspective. My husband says he is glad he is as old as he is. What a heart-wrenching comment to hear.

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purpose.

“Don’t Back Down, Kids” simply, eloquently and straightforward says it all (“Editorial: Stay angry, kids, and fight for saner gun laws,” Feb 21).

As a former teacher at Chicago’s Mather High School, and a former Professor at Chicago’s Wright College, I have always believed in what my students could do. Students continue to be society’s hope.

“Stick with this one, kids. The world of your fathers and mothers has failed you.”

Elynne Chaplik-Aleskow, Lake View

Don’t arm teachers

Succumbing to the latest school shooting and the public outcry, Trump timidly suggests banning the bump stocks that turn a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic weapon. So much more is needed, starting with regulations that treat semi-automatic weapons the same as automatic weapons or, even better, a complete ban on private ownership for both.

Also needed are a beefed-up federal background check system, with particular attention to gun shop licensing, gun shows and private gun sales, with better tracking and enforcement. Finally, this nation needs better ways to help and protect us from those who are armed and suffering from mental illness.

Arming school personnel is not the answer. However, having our elected representatives less dependent on campaign contributions from the NRA and gun manufacturers would help immensely.

Mary F. Warren, Wheaton

NRA stands for arms industry, not citizens

The American form of government is a representative democracy using our Constitution as foundation and guide. But Congress is not representing the will of the American people when it comes to the ready availability of firearms.

Survey after survey, both after mass shootings and during the lulls in between, shows that the vast majority of people — in both parties — want certain clear changes to our laws and policies regarding access to guns. Bending over backward, some courts and most members of the House and Senate insist on an expansive interpretation of the Second Amendment in order to justify blatant disregard for the will of the people.

The GOP has been in lockstep with the NRA for decades. And let’s be clear, the NRA does not represent its citizen members; it is a lobbyist for the arms industry. We have a window of opportunity for some change here. The student movement begun by the survivors from Stoneman Douglas High School deserves our support.

Michael Hart, West Ridge

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