My philosophy in respect to the increase in gun violence is the following:
As a Vietnam combat veteran, a volunteer helicopter door gunner, my philosophy is that if people continue to kill each other with no regard to human life, they should be forced to join the military, go to a combat zone and experience the feeling of killing the enemy or being killed.
When the draft was underway, young men convicted of crimes were often given the choice of going to prison or joining the military and going to Vietnam.
As door gunners, our life expectancy was 20 minutes after takeoff on any given mission.
I think that if they would manage to come home from a combat zone alive, they would have a different perspective of taking another human life here at home.
Making repeat offenders forced to join the military might keep them from graduating to the level of the potentially of committing murder.
To date, I can account for 43 of my buddies — pilots, crew chiefs and door gunners — that we lost.
My friend, I have had to live with that for over 50 years!
Ernest Garcia
Rio Rancho