The trained therapy and crisis dogs have responded to the crisis in Lewiston as they have at Nashville, Uvalde, Surfside, Florida, Michigan State, University of Virginia and Buffalo.

As a dog owner, I get it — dogs have an amazing capacity for caring, understanding and empathy. What I don’t get is why do the politicians parading around with AR-15 lapel pins and promoting assault weapons as our “national weapon” so completely lack in empathy and compassion?

Why must we rely on four legged friends like Tomo, Django, Tarik and Oliver, while we elect characters like Lauren (Boebert), Marjorie (Taylor Greene) and George (Santos)? Have our politicians sacrificed their empathy for gun lobby and constituent support, or did they never possess compassion?

Maybe our politicians need to spend a day with the therapy and crisis dogs before the next mass tragedy, but they’d better hurry.

As we approach 600 mass casualty events, the next event is sadly predictable and inevitable without immediate and serious action.

Steven Westra, Chebeague Island

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