To the editor — Acts of violence are abhorrent to us all, whether in public places where we’d like to gather without fear, or in the thousands of less visible individual acts.

Some think the answer is to ban guns, but, I don't think this is the answer, even though in some cases it may be necessary for safety.

I am a minister with biblical and theological training who used to own guns but gave them to the police as a statement of my beliefs and values. I’ve learned in my professional experience that acts of violence always stem from the emotions and feelings inside the person regardless of the weapon, whether a fist, club, knife, spear or gun. It always begins with the feelings inside us.

It's complicated. Individual people and situations are all different. From domestic violence to gang activities to depression, low self-esteem, anger from childhood bullying or abuse. All these events create feelings that need to be expressed constructively. If people have no experience or can’t do this, it may come out as acts of violence.

We need to look at the feelings behind the acts of violence. Just focusing on guns won’t solve the problem.

Let's start the conversation.

DAVID HELSETH

Yakima