To The Editor:

Where is the deterrent? There is none!

You write about the slaughter (of people). It is terrible. When there is little or no punishment, what do you expect?

Criminals shoot up St. Louis daily. According to TV news, about 80 percent are never caught. Of the few who are, you can bet that due to the attorney and judge they will be back on the street very shortly or are sentenced to a short time in jail (at taxpayers’ expense) where they will have good food, shelter and medical treatment.

Yes, our jails and prisons are overcrowded because we are treating these criminals like schoolchildren. We need a deterrent, in my opinion. When you take a weapon, gun, knife, club or anything else and kill someone in the commission of a crime, there should not be a jail sentence. If you need more suggestions, I’d be happy to help.

As for taking guns away from people, the only owner you would get are not the owner causing trouble. They would still be on the street but with more freedom looking for more gun-free zones where there is no deterrent. And no, I don’t mean a death sentence that would go on for 10-20 years where they might die of old age before the sentence is served out. You can’t just keep kicking the can down the road.

We need to put some teeth in the law and use them. Criminals need to know there are serious penalties if they commit murder, not just a little jail time.

I believe in a fair trial but if found guilty then jail time is not the answer. I am over 80 years old and I have to pay for my own food, shelter and health care.