We are a sad, unhappy nation drowning in gun violence: our communities, schools, classrooms, churches, theaters, grocery stores, parking lots, malls, everywhere!

Kids aren’t safe in their homes when parents neglect to lock up guns so they can’t be found and used to accidentally shoot each other. Mass shootings continue and won’t go away until communities demand the right to oppose being shot. Our gun safety laws are too lax, and they need to be strengthened.

We need background checks that are accurate, with greater details on all gun purchasers, including those with mental disabilities, those with a grudge against society, those with affiliations to “hate groups” or returning veterans suffering from mental trauma. We are not talking about hunters going into the woods with hunting rifles; the powerful National Rifle Association is not concerned about them. They represent the big gun manufacturers and ammunitions dealers.

That’s where the big dollars are to be made. The NRA keeps telling people that Big Brother wants to take their guns away, and that’s nonsense.

What Americans want are safe communities where we don’t have to cringe in fear when we step out of our homes. We need the help and expertise of medical staff, police departments and friends and neighbors. We need to work harder for safer communities.

Unfortunately, too many of our politicians are spineless and fear crossing the NRA, especially when it involves campaign funds and/or bribes. I’ve heard it said that when a society learns to love its children more than its guns, then we can see a glimmer of hope at the end of this dismal tunnel. Let’s work harder to reach that goal.

Gertrude Meyers

retired educator

Baton Rouge