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Editor:

It is not healthy to get used to something that is profoundly sick. The fact that we are accustomed to the phrase "school shooting," words that together should cause shock, fear and action, represents a deep disturbance in our country. Collectively, we have bought the line that beginning to address this problem will encroach on hunting rights and the right to protect our homes and families. Somehow we have become so numb to these incidents that we mumble statements of "prayers" and "hold your loved ones close" instead of demanding a more adequate response, such as enforcing existing gun laws and empowering the ATF to reduce the sale of illegal guns. Collectively, we have bought the line about how the good guys with guns can protect us from the bad guys with guns, and we continue to try to create more opportunities to get guns in the hands of the "right" people. If this were going to work, it would have by now. Each person who is close to one of these terrible tragedies changes their mind. After the Las Vegas massacre, country star Caleb Keeter tweeted "I've been a proponent of the 2nd Amendment my whole life, until the events of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was." He described that with the chaos that ensued, there was no way any "good guy" with a gun would have been able to act appropriately. To begin to fix this problem- and despite the differences in "solutions" I cannot think of anyone who would say this is not a problem- we will have to stop getting used to this and start getting past our differences and divisions and begin to apply some common sense. The Senate voted this year, including Senators Barrasso and Enzi, that people who are too mentally ill to manage their social security checks ought to still be able to purchase weapons. Efforts to ban people identified as terrorists, placed on the "no fly list," from buying weapons have failed. When society is accustomed to the words "school" and "shooting" together, we have failed.

EMILY SIEGEL, Laramie

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