To the editor:

We are a small group of retirees. We walk together five to six days a week. We range in age from the late 60s to early 80s. We were teachers, corporate vice presidents, federal bureaucrats, financial advisers, medical equipment suppliers, restaurant owners...We are Democrats and Republicans; conservatives and liberals; catholics, protestants and nones. We are grandparents and veterans.

On Aug. 5 during our walk, it dawned on us that we had walked for 40 minutes before the two massacres that occurred over the weekend even came up in our discussions. Have we become so numb to this that it doesn't even register any more? Is this the new normal? Has this country made a decision that weekly mass shootings are a small price to pay — for what?

We are old, white men. It seems a little bizarre to us that two teenage girls, Greta Thunberg and Emma Gonzalez, are the most effective spokespeople for the two major health issues of our time — climate change and gun violence. Seriously, it is way past time for our elected adults to act, to act responsibly and do something to save the future of this country and planet.

Tom Obert

Alexandria, MN