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In reflection, in the aftermath of tragedy, I am traumatized, I am angry. Innocent children, and teachers trying to protect them, were massacred in Florida in their school, a place of learning and friendship. And this is just one of other shootings that has taken place over the past decade in our schools. We all feel it is time to say enough is enough. Yes, it is enough. Our children, our schools, our malls, our churches, our other places of gathering need to be welcoming and safe. So what will happen as we try to accomplish this? The left will make emotional pleas to ban semiautomatic refiles. The right will profess the importance of the Second Amendment. Both sides will be standing firm and pointing fingers.

Revisit the mass shootings of the past. You will agree no stable person wakes up one day and decides to want to kill a large number of people. These mass shootings have a common thread. They are not spontaneous acts. They are instead the result of mentally unstable thinking in persons who have been building up to the act. Their actions, often even their words, are signs of a brewing kettle about to explode. Each leaves a trail of signs and symptoms, often avoided and ignored by the society around them.

Of the calls for action, and the do something cries, I was appreciative that our Congressman Katko was sincere in his assessment. I was also proud in that he pointed out Congress' previous inaction on mass shootings. I hope his call for bipartisan action on the matter of guns and mental illness and keeping guns out of the hands mentally ill is well received by both sides of the aisle. We need bipartisan support of this issue — the relationship between mass shootings, mental illness and restricting gun ownership.

It is a complex issue and greater than just banning a certain type weapon or just upholding the Second Amendment. Congressman Katko faces an uphill battle in Congress getting the two sides to face the underlying real issue, which is that mass shootings are generally committed by mentally ill people and that we must find a way to prevent these persons access to guns. I thank Congressman Katko for understanding the nature of the real issue and for his honest efforts to find a way to solve this complicated matter.

Josephine D. Thomas