Mall shooting shows cost of America's obsession with guns [Letter]

January 28, 2014

Our nation is carving its niche history with its firearms, and as citizens our lives are evolving into a state of constant vigilance ("No answers in Columbia mall shooting motive," Jan. 26).

We can no longer go to the movies, the mall or to the fast-food restaurant without the fear of violence by gunfire occurring. It may not be at the forefront of our collective conscience, but it is there, and sadly, it is one of permanence.

I wonder about how other, more civil nations view America. We have devolved into a nation that settles scores with firearms instead of dialogue. Disputes are ended by mentally unstable people who have access to weapons. Is this truly how we choose to make our mark on the world, or can we turn back to an era of more genteel means to solve differences?

Our history was largely formed by the use of firearms during wartime. We now have a domestic gun crisis that, if not addressed, could lead to a nation of gun-toting vigilantes and unfettered lawlessness. We seem to have morphed into a country where cowards carrying firearms are the norm, not the exception. When did things turn so terribly, pathetically wrong?

I pray this truly is not the legacy America chooses to leave in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Patrick R. Lynch, Nottingham

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