Thursday February 14, 2013

In response to Beverly Gianokakis’ letter of Feb. 12 "We cannot prevent the mass killings," we may not be able to completely stop mass killings by outlawing automatic weapons and restricting how many bullets are allowed to be in a magazine for guns, but maybe it’s a start to slowing these horrible tragedies down. We can’t go around locking up people who have been abused or have mental illness because they might "snap." Anyone has the ability to "snap," but for those who need it we can let them know there is help out there by making it easily accessible.

I took a vacation years ago and had to fly into Grenada. There was a military presence in the airport carrying machine guns, and they did not make me feel safe, they made me feel afraid, afraid of being shot or losing my freedom. It made me nervous to be in the country.

I don’t want to live in a country where a 6-year-old has to go to school and see guards with guns. I don’t want to go to a mall or a movie and see guards with guns nor do I want to go home and greet my mom who has a .44 on her hip and bolts the door behind me. What I do want is our government to do its job, stop bickering and bring this country back to where it once was -- strong and safe for all people who choose to live here, "the land of the free and the home of the brave."

I fear the day those words don’t mean anything anymore is the day we as a country no longer exist. Perhaps that is what we should be afraid of.

REBECCA O’BRIEN

Pittsfield