'This is America and everything is possible'

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The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is the latest in continued violence in America. Not only schools but a Las Vegas concert and Florida nightclub have experienced similar acts of violence involving semi automatic weapons. The action plan is very complex to reduce these acts of violence.

This is America and everything is possible, the action plan will require common sense not political grandstanding.

My suggestions to reduce or eliminate these unacceptable acts of violence are:

• Nationwide program to communicate the need to report suspicious activity and timely follow-up on these reports.

• Immediate expansion of background checks and sharing of data, including mental illness (all states).

• Gun shows and private dealers should be subject to expanded background checks ( all states).

• Expansion of age requirements to purchase semi automatic type weapons or hand operated guns from 18 to 21.

• Ban on sale of AR 15 equipment and ammunition including other semi automatic assault type rifles. These are military or security weapons not personal.

• It will be necessary to define “assault type semi automatic weapons” since there are several types (M-16, M4 and AK 47, etc.).

• It will be important to preserve the rights of hunters to use handguns or non-semi automatic weapons that are included in the second amendment.

• Schools need to implement modern technology to limit access to school property; just adding extra armed security guards will help but they will need modern buzzer type door locks and expanded cameras to make a difference in large buildings.

This will eliminate to need to arm teachers which is not a viable solution.

It is time for Americans to come together and have a free dialogue on ideas. However, politicians on both side of the aisle have been doing this since 1994 with no agreement on steps to reduce this violence.

We need to “walk the talk” and get some changes in place to protect our children and citizens.

I am sure there are other ideas and there will be reasons why new measures of security will not work but the need for action is now.

Tom Cunningham

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