Vote out the NRA-beholden Congress

I have had it with empty phrases of “thoughts and prayers.” I was taught that when I prayed for something or someone this meant that I was called to do whatever was in my power to answer that thought or prayer.

Just within the span of three days our nation has suffered the loss of people to gun violence in Gilroy, California, Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas. All committed by white males armed with military assault rifles that are used in wars. In a span of 24 hours more people in our nation were killed by guns than have been killed in 2017 and 2018 combined in Afghanistan. If these killings had occurred by black or Hispanic males there would be outrage from our president and Republican Congress. Why the silence when white males commit these crimes?

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According to the book “Beating Guns: Hope for People who are Weary of Violence,” by Shane Claiborne and Michael Martin, “The nation with the most civilian-owned firearms is the United States with 270 million guns or about 90 guns per one hundred people. Per capita, America has six times as many firearm homicides as Canada and nearly sixteen times as many as Germany. On average there is one mass shooting every day in America. Almost half of Americans (44%) say they personally know someone who has been shot, either accidentally or intentionally.” I personally had a brother-in-law commit suicide with a gun.

We saw New Zealand immediately pass legislation that would ban weapons that are designed to be used in military combat. So why isn’t the American Congress able to do the same? If it is because their reelection is contingent on the support of the NRA then shame on them. Their “thoughts and prayers” are hollow words while they line their pocketbooks with money from the NRA. American voters need to vote them out at the ballot box because every citizen in this nation wonders when they will be the next target while grocery shopping, attending school, watching a movie, or attending a garlic festival.

Patricia Roop Hollinger

Westminster

Trump’s mental health rhetoric just a distraction

Before retirement I worked as a mental health therapist. It is very hard to hear our President as he emphasizes the need for us to tighten up our laws regarding mental health and we can then identify ahead of time those people who might commit horrendous crimes like we have recently witnessed in El Paso and Dayton.

There are NO laws about detecting or treating persons who have evil intent, unless there has been a crime that has been committed and there probably will never be such laws. People enter treatment or therapy when they realize there thought processes are harmful to themselves and others. A person who is bent on hurting or killing people seldom if ever, seeks mental health counseling and there are NO laws that require them to seek therapy or counseling.

Trump’s recent urging for us to “tighten up our laws” concerning mental health is only intended as a distraction from our considering what might really be effective, that is ending our president’s constant rhetoric, identifying people that are “different” from white Americans as “dangerous” or not welcome.

Wallace Wolff

Westminster

Don’t be misled by ‘free’ college education

When everything is free, nothing is worth a tinker’s dam. Take “free college” for example.

Remember first that “free” would apply only to government-run schools. The Harvards, Yales, and McDaniels of this world would still be around, charging an arm and a leg, and the “privileged” kids would go to them. Uncle Sam, now holding the purse strings on lower-class college education, would establish salary scales for professors (based, of course, on longevity, not on merit) and pass-fail standards for different notional and ethnic groups. And all who are accepted would have to graduate. There could be no grades, no completion, no awarded scholarships, no honors at graduation.

Don’t be misled. The overall goal of “free anything” is to homogenize society so that the cream will never again rise to the top.

William R. Boyer

Westminster

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Good decision by Bouchat not to run again

I’m very happy that Eric Bouchat has decided not to run for reelection for the commissioners. I think that’s a good decision on his part because he may not even win the primary, and he certainly probably would be defeated in the general election for proposing and promoting charter government. We have voted twice no, no, no, no, no for charter government but people like Bouchat just keep pushing it. And also Susan Krebs, my delegate, she keeps pushing and proposing it. If she doesn’t stop it she’s going to be sent back home also.

Herb Pletcher

Harney

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