Associated Press
Aleena Nicoloro of Redding, Conn. holds a sign during a rally at the Capitol in Hartford, Conn., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. Thousands of people turned out to call on lawmakers to toughen gun laws in light of the December elementary school shooting in Newtown that left 26 students and educators dead.

More needs to be done to prevent horrific crimes like that in Newtown, Conn., last year. In our society, too many people resort to violence, allowing their emotions to dictate their actions. Too many accidentally or intentionally kill others, and mentally unstable individuals gain access to lethal weapons. The most devastating tragedies? When people use guns capable of killing multiple victims in rapid succession.

Gun violence glorified in movies and other media seems an acceptable way to eliminate people you don't like. Murderers such as ex-policeman Christopher Dorner illustrate the serious threat from violent individuals bent on revenge who are trained to kill with guns. Shouldn't we make it more difficult for criminals and the emotionally or mentally unstable to get guns? Why not close the loopholes in laws on background checks and improve them? Responsible individuals owning guns to protect themselves and their families is fine. But with military assault rifles? No.

It's important for schools to improve security, but I worry about teachers with guns. Such a weapon could be stolen by an unstable, dangerous individual. Trained police officers handle threatening emergencies well. This is a complicated issue, but we should take reasonable steps now to prevent another massacre.

Melanie Stevens Read

West Point