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Children are more important than politics

The slaughter of 17 innocents has to be the end of our surrendering our responsibility of safety to all. The Second Amendment of the Constitution reads “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The right was to assure we could protect our nation and selves from threats to our nation’s sovereignty and existence — not caches of weapons. We are at a tragic place where the lives of innocent people, children as young as five, are not worth protecting. Guns are more important.

Too many slaughters to count, the evidence shows we must assure mental-health care, protect all from future slaughters to the best of our ability, and to get mature and reasonable as to what the right to own and keep arms means. It is not necessary that we be armed better than an infantry squad.

Officials must take action to assure we have adequate mental-health treatment and reasonable weapons control. The lives of our innocents, especially young children, must become way more valuable than being re-elected. It is time for leadership, not politics.

Jerome Wright

Rapid City

Lawmakers need to target assault rifles

The authors of the Second Amendment, written over 225 years ago, did not envision today’s high-tech automatic killing weapons. Most firearms of the 1700’s were single-shot musket-style rifles.

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Owning a handgun for protection and a rifle for hunting is a reasonable right.

Owning military-style automatic weapons is unnecessary and bizarre. Military grade weapons such as the AR15 used in Florida serve one purpose, kill many people quickly. Lives could be saved by simply not allowing any citizen to own military weapons. Simple legislation banning military-style killing machines is needed. It’s not complicated. It worked in Australia and it can work here. Innocent children are being brutally murdered with military-style weapons. A country that cannot protect its children from murder is guilty of grave moral failure. Protecting citizens is a basic function of government.

So, Sen. Thune, Sen. Rounds, Rep. Noem and all lawmakers, inaction is no longer acceptable. You are our leaders, please take legislative action to protect citizens, especially our children from senseless gun violence. If you aren’t part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Enough is enough.

Ron Pray

Deadwood

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