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Never imagined weapon of war attacking schools

When I received orders to be deployed to a Navy river patrol boat base in Vietnam in 1970, I received extra weapons training including the M16 rifle. The M16 had officially replaced the M14 as the main infantry rifle of the U.S. armed forces in 1969. So I was armed with and have fired this weapon. Make no mistake, it was designed to kill soldiers in armed conflicts.

When Colt Manufacturing was developing the M16 during the mid-1960s, it spun off another version of this rifle, the AR-15, for sale domestically. Why? Money, money, money. The main difference between the two was that the AR-15 was designed to omit the automatic, continuous nonstop firing capability of the M16. The AR-15 can fire only once for every pull of the trigger. Try and see how many times you could pull the trigger in a minute.

Little did I imagine in 1970 that this modified killing weapon would decades later, at the end of my 30-year career as an Arkansas middle school teacher, become the weapon of choice for mass shootings and murder in our schools. I cannot in words express my revulsion with this development, and the depth of pain in my heart for the suffering of the victims, the children and my fellow teachers and all the families. Unfortunately, all Americans pay a price for these school assaults. The academic learning and the sharing of our American history, heritage, customs and values that take place in our classrooms every day make them one of the greatest assets of our nation. Will our classrooms as we knew them survive?

To allow attacks on our schools with this weapon makes absolutely no sense. They are not needed for hunting or home defense. U.S. citizens would still be the most armed people in the history of the world without them. If the past rate holds, more Americans will die from guns over the next two years than died in the entire Vietnam War in over 10 years. Did the Founding Fathers ever imagine this incredible situation when they wrote the Second Amendment? Unfortunately, with over 300 million guns already in the hands of U.S. citizens, more than all the armies in the world, the ultimate solution may be to make our schools armed fortresses to protect our children.

What insanity. What a self-inflicted tragedy.

DAVID F. WILSON

Fayetteville

As for Sen. Cotton, 2020

can’t come fast enough

Where has Mr. Patriot Tom Cotton been lately? Over in Israel collecting another million dollars? Thirteen Russians have been indicted for attacking our democracy (I use the term democracy loosely since Trump lost by 3 million votes and the majority has to put up with his agenda even though we voted against it) and yet Trump won’t enact the Russian sanctions passed by Congress.

Trump is refusing to enact the law passed by Congress. He is not following his oath of office. If Trump was a Democrat, Cotton would be leading the impeachment charge. What a phony Cotton is as a patriot. He needs to go — 2020 can’t come soon enough to get this Trump enabler out of Congress.

RICHARD IVNIK

Garfield

letters@nwadg.com

Print Headline: NWA LETTERS

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