My heart is breaking for those families who have lost members to senseless gun shootings. And, I am angry at those lawmakers locally, statewide and in Washington who sit by and do nothing to stop it.

Can you tell me why anyone needs an assault rifle? Can you tell me why 18-year-olds can walk into a store, purchase an assault rifle and ammunition without background checks? Can you tell me why anyone who had connection with these people didn't do anything to report these purchases? Didn't they wonder why 18-year-olds would purchase these assault rifles? Hindsight perhaps, it should have been done.

Before anyone questions why I am so against guns, I am not. I came from a family of five brothers, who with my father, owned guns that were used for hunting and supplying food, not high-powered assault guns that are used for killing innocent people, especially children. I can remember my father, when they returned from hunting, would ask my brothers to check to make sure the guns were unloaded. When they said yes, he said, "Well, check them again." There were rules for gun safety.

We can offer prayers and support for the families, but more is needed. Lawmakers need to act, and act fast, on sensible gun controls. People are quoted as saying, "guns don't kill, people do." Yes, people do, but they use guns to kill.

On Tuesday, news was reported of schools being shut down in Mojave, and a threat in Tehachapi. Last Friday a school in Atascadero was shut down because of threats. These need investigations and what guns are available to the person sending threats.

I beg the lawmakers in Congress and state governments to act quickly and pass sensible gun control laws before we hear of more senseless shootings.

— Betty L. Kouklis, Bakersfield