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Rev. Chester Arceneaux bows his head in a prayer during a Mass of Remembrance for the victims of the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio Tuesday August 6, 2019, at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Lafayette, La.

On Thursday, The New York Times described a panic provoked by a sound like gun shot on Times Square. We were there.

My husband and I walked out of a theater on 45th Street, charmed by the glow of a wonderful performance, only to be swept into a crowd stampeding down the street screaming in fright. There was a man lying on the ground and abandoned shoes and purses on the sidewalk. We ran, finally taking shelter in another theater where some people were hiding behind seats and others were crying because they couldn’t find loved ones.

It turned out to be a false alarm. But the emotions and horrors it evoked were all too real. There is no way to hide from an assault weapon.

Clearly, people are on edge and the world is on tilt when it comes to guns. It’s time for our lawmakers to take the actions required to remove weapons of mass murder from our streets. Every madman with a gun infringes on your and my right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Janet R. Howard

former director, BGR

New Orleans

Louisiana leaders respond to deadly mass shootings but mostly stop short of calling for tighter gun laws