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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Mailbag: Jan. 18

Mental health should trump Second Amendment

This letter is in response to the articles covering the shooting tragedy in Arizona.

The second amendment of the United States Constitution states:

“”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.””

Obviously the need for a state militia has been replaced by the National Guard and Coast Guard whereby trained military personnel are entrusted with the defense of this country against domestic enemies. Their weapons are tightly controlled and safeguarded.

The only two reasons for a citizen to own a firearm are for hunting or defense of the household from intruders. In either case, ownership of a handgun, shotgun or rifle is more than adequate to satisfy these purposes.

There is absolutely no need for any U.S. civilian to own any weapon more powerful or sophisticated than these. Accordingly, all handguns, shotguns and rifles must be licensed and registered to the degree necessary to match weapon to owner at the click of a computer key. Furthermore, if we had prohibited the purchase of more sophisticated weapons (i.e. a Glock 19 semiautomatic pistol with an extended magazine) several innocent victims would not have died or been harmed during this tragedy as well as in shopping malls and on college campuses. The shooter is obviously disturbed by mental illness to which it appears that those defending the right to own sophisticated weapons exhibit the same qualities by showing a callous disregard for the safety and protection of their fellow citizens. Mental illness and guns are as bad a combination as alcohol and driving. Evidently we have the money to fight two wars overseas but not the political will to treat the mentally ill who are not only a danger to themselves but to everyone else as well.

Joe Bialek

Cleveland, Ohio

Students, faculty have duty to try

Those of us for whom Tucson is home are horrified and deeply distressed by the tremendous losses to our community when Jared Loughner opened fire last week. Students: when you talk with faculty and staff, please remember that we are grieving. For some of you, last week will be remembered as exciting because the President came to McKale. What we will remember is pain. This happened in our home and to our neighbors.

I’ve tried to make sense of Loughner’s actions, the actions of those who knew he was in trouble and cheering at the worst moments during the memorial at McKale. I’ve tried to figure out what “”unity”” and “”coming together”” might actually look like in practice. What defines “”civility?”” What can and should I do to help those who struggle with life, as Loughner clearly struggled? 

My reflections lead me to believe that the answers lie in the principles of thoughtfulness and responsibility, for our own actions and for the well-being of those around us. I call on University of Arizona staff, faculty and students to set high expectations for the cultivation of these qualities. To expect less is to fail ourselves and each other.  Thoughtfulness and a sense of responsibility to ourselves and others make lives richer and communities safer, and can and should be central to the mission of higher education. When we move toward these goals, then we have hope that “”Together We (will) Thrive.”” The behavior at McKale during the memorial demonstrates that we have a long way to go in our efforts, but we have to try.

Debbie Marlow

Academic advisor for the Center for Exploratory Students

Memorial service a solemn occasion

As I sat and watched the memorial service with my wife and two children in our suburban Boston home Wednesday evening, a feeling of shame and embarrassment swept over me. My 9-year-old son asked if the basketball team was playing later that night. 

What were you collectively thinking? Half the country thinks Arizonans are gun toting fools and the other half think you have no idea what it means to be at a solemn occasion. A lose-lose moment.

Robert Shelton, as the president of the university, is fully responsible for this embarrassment. I ask all fellow alumni to support me in calling for his resignation.

Emily Fritze, you have a responsibility as ASUA president, to appear on any national broadcast that will have you to explain and apologize for the behavior displayed by your fellow students.

Joe Foppiano

UA alumnus

Tailgating atmosphere disrespectful to victims

Dear University of Arizona,

While I was expecting some joy at the news of the shooting’s survivors, some clapping at the heroes, the aide, the phenomenal news of Gabrielle Giffords opening her eyes, I was appalled at your student body and citizens treating a memorial service like a tailgating party.

Did UA administrators need to give the student body a primer on how to behave at a service for the murdered? Really? To college students? Well, I guess so. In my estimation, the administration of UA did their student body a disservice. Their parents did them an even more grave one but that is my generation’s failing — we are just as immature as the kids we fail to teach basic manners. We should all know better. No one should have to tell anyone how to behave at an event such as this. The world watched while once again America proved it did not know a mortuary from a mosh pit. Around the globe, American youth are regarded as people who are supposedly devastated by violence, emotionally distorted by excessive blood letting in movies, video games, music and tv, so exposed to violence as to be inured to it. Sadly, on the backs of six dead innocent people, twelve gunshot survivors and one democratically elected government official who narrowly escaped an assassination attempt, the University of Arizona student body has proven the world right.   

DonnaAnn Ward

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