The need to grapple with the current escalation of violence on a national scale is unprecedented and requires collaborative effort.

* The right to gun ownership — why not compare this to the right to own and drive a car? We do have that right, but every car needs to be registered and every driver must prove his qualifications. Arms are more dangerous than cars and should be subject to the same regulations.

* Caring for the mentally ill — experience shows the need to provide troubled individuals and their families with easy accessibility to appropriate help in times of stress, with close supervision by social workers, doctors and pharmacists.

* Entertainment industry — the glorification of violence by every aspect of the entertainment industry, the constant repetition of war scenes on the evening news, violence and rudeness in publicity contribute to our culture of death.

* Needs for hunting and self-defense — what type of gun is really necessary to kill a rabbit or a moose? For self-defense, pepper spray and Tasers are not deadly, and can be highly effective, according to official sources. However, they are scarcely ever mentioned.

President George H.W. Bush had it right when he called on us to become a gentler, kinder nation. Let’s work at it together.


Sr. Catherine Marie Caron, Waterville

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