James Van Amber, Mankato
— When I was in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam period I fired all kinds of weapons, most especially the M-14 and M-16 and the M-60 machine gun. I fired expert with the first two weapons which were semi-automatic and automatic depending on the setting. They were made to kill people, as many of the enemy as possible.
There is no reason I can think of that a civilian should possess any of those weapons. They’re not for hunting. They’re for killing people with multiple rounds. There is no reason I can think of that a civilian should carry several clips of ammo or possess these dangerous weapons.
Now I suppose there is such a thing as irrational fear of the government taking over in some weird and incomprehensible fashion. The NRA likes to spew this kind of misinformation and propaganda, but in my opinion it’s just crazy paranoid thinking by the extreme right wing-nuts.
We can do better than this. We must do better than this. We can no longer tolerate mass shootings in our midst with weapons meant for war. And to say the answer is to arm more people is just as insane. Politicians who say that are idiots including some of the local yokels.
I say, finally, that Sandy Hook Elementary will not pass without change. This will not go away. We will never forget what happened to those innocent children and teachers. We must go forward with the mental health evaluations and treatment, yes, but these high-powered weapons with multiple clips have to become history and they will. I say the time is now.