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I’m writing regarding yet another senseless shooting tragedy at another American school. As a former educator and father to two high schoolers who survived a shooting of their own in Mattoon, Illinois last fall, something must be done immediately to curtail these incidents. I worry every time I drop off my kids for school what might happen that day. I cringe every time I see a police car or hear an ambulance heading in the mere direction of their school. Each time these incidents happen at another school, I feel both anger that nothing has changed and sadness for the families knowing it could have easily been the same for my family.

I’ve been a lifelong Republican but not a supporter of our current President nor how the party has veered off track in recent years. I too support the 2nd Amendment and taught History and American government for several years. However, there is no need for civilians to own assault style weapons. No one is using them to hunt deer or protect their homes. If those gun owners want them at a gun range, they should leave them there locked up and safe so no one can access them and bring them to a school. There is no reason not to have universal background checks for any gun purchase, checks on mental stability and social media prior to a gun purchase, or the sale of weapons at a gun show or online without a background check. While these all seem to be common sense ideas that the vast majority of Americans support, the likelihood of any of these ever passing into law seems slim at best. The next school shooting will just be another reminder that nothing has changed.

Jon Wiarda, Mattoon

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