The Mother Jones Mass Shooting Database shows that from 1982-1990 the U.S. had a total of nine mass shootings; from 1991-2000, 23; from 2001-2010, 20; and from 2011-2019, 64 mass shootings.

Americans died in synagogues, churches, schools, nightclubs, factories, Walmarts, bars, warehouses, hospitals and on military bases. A 14-year-old just killed his entire family in Alabama. Some, but definitely not all, shooters have been mentally ill. These killers have three things in common: they are male, they are angry and they used guns.

For 37 years, millions of Americans have prayed unsuccessfully to stop gun violence.

Some gun owners become hysterical at the idea of any gun laws, shouting “You’re going to take our guns away!” We are all required to register our cars.  People waiting at the DMV don’t shout, “You’re trying to take my car away!” The Supreme Court has already ruled (Heller) that the Second Amendment allows gun restrictions.

 I wish that millions of normal, decent gun owners who are sickened by mass violence would speak up. Their input would be important to legislators, some of whom listen only to the NRA, which donates millions to politicians who then stop any attempts at gun legislation.

No other civilized country in the world has America’s level of gun violence. Legislators should insist that U.S. Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell allow debate on stopping gun violence. Concerned members from both political parties could find solutions together but too many of them are cowards who refuse to consider any legislation at all.

 Ellen Field, New Gloucester

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