I’ve been a volunteer member of the Mountain Community Patrol for many years. On Thursday, Oct. 31 at the Halloween parade I observed two persons.

The first one had a real ax over his shoulder. I went up to him and touched the ax; it was real. I spoke to him and asked him to be very careful — there were many babies and small children around and accidents do happen.

The second person had a rifle on his arm. It looked real to me. These two people were adults, not children, and my reason for writing this letter.

Unfortunately, we are forced to be extra careful and alert when there are large crowds gathering. Last week a 12-year-old and a 14-year-old killed their teachers. On Nov. 1, a 23-year-old opened fire at LAX International Airport at the screeners.

We all should have a feeling of responsibility and respect for each other. Brandishing real weapons is not necessary for a costume.

Idyllwild is a wonderful and spiritual place. Let’s keep it that way.

I love you, America. You’ve been very good to me.

Gisela M. Stearns