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I’m in my 80s, and I remember when we were in the middle of the Great Depression. When I was in grade school, I remember World War II and all the flags with blue stars for family members serving in the Armed Forces and gold stars representing those who had died in service in the windows of the homes in my neighborhood. When I was in high school, fellow students were being sent to the war in Korea.

When my sons were in grade school, they had atomic-bomb drills and had to hide under their desks. My boys were in high school during the Vietnam War and knew that as soon as they graduated they would be drafted.

All these eras had events that created mental strain for both adults and young people, but I don’t recall any mass school shootings.

What changed? The main thing that I see is a weapon, on the market, that is not a pistol or a hunting gun but a killer of people.

Carol Byrne, Everett