Letters to the editor: April 26, 2017

I get it. We like blowing stuff up. It’s a primal attraction. Explosives are powerful — but indiscriminate.

Fourteen states are using cyanide bombs to kill wildlife — and Texas leads the country in animal deaths by sodium cyanide M-44s. Thousands of coyotes, foxes, possums, raccoons and skunks meet their end this way in our state. According figures from the Humane Society of the United States, last year seven Texas dogs were killed by these bombs. Several humans were also injured. It seems like we are overcompensating, don’t you think? It’s time to take a step back and find a safer solution.

House Resolution 1817 would ban the use of cyanide bombs. Its passage would make life safer for Texans, innocent wildlife and our family pets. Please call your U.S. representative today and urge him or her to support HR 1817.


Re: April 17 commentary, “Two Views: Legislature right to nix city control of ride-hailing.”

Matt Mackowiak, a professional Republican consultant, has rehashed the usual stew of Republican lies and foolishness regarding Lyft and Uber in Austin.

Simply put: Yes, cities do have the right to regulate how business is conducted within their limits. To say otherwise would mean that cities do not have the right to establish zoning, set speed limits or enforce health, safety and fire codes.

Republicans now thrive on chaos — Trump being the prime example. But in the past they have supported clear, locally based regulation. Had Austin passed rules prejudicial to gays or the transgender people, I would imagine Mackowiak would be loud in his applause. Too bad for the GOP the residents of Austin spoke as they did on Uber and Lyft.


Dear U.S. Sens. John Cornyn, Ted Cruz and U.S. Rep. Bill Flores,

Since there are no town halls to attend, I hope you will read this. We need to put support and money into our public schools. The concept of school choice as it stands right now is about using tax dollars for religious and for-profit schools. That is a violation of the Constitution when it comes to separation of church and state. It will also gut public schools as a system.

Why would you attack the system we have in place to educate all of our children — not just the wealthy or the privileged? Our country as a whole improves the more our children are educated. Stop playing games that serve only a few and think big picture. It feels like you are working against Texans, not for us.


Why does society care more about a person’s genitalia than about the human being attached? Why are transgender people — specifically black women — the group most targeted by hate crimes in the U.S.?

Misogyny is so ingrained in our society that we are not only blind to it, we accept it. We fear the unknown and in turn cause pain and suffering to those we don’t understand.

Fear of the unknown breeds hate — wasted energy that could instead be empathy. If you learn enough about something that the hate leaves you but you are still scared, knowledge and interaction will help replace that fear with understanding. Once you understand and interact with what you previously feared, you will feel empathy.

Equality does not mean there will be less rights for those who currently have more than others; it means equal rights for all.


Re: April 15 letter to the editor, “To keep and bear arms is our God-given right.”

I was incredulous when I read that this person believes that “to keep and bear arms’ is a God-given right. Where is it written in the Bible that God tells his followers to carry weapons because it is their right as human beings to do so?

I recall a biblical passage — Matthew 26:52 — in which Jesus admonishes a disciple to “put your sword back into its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.”

The writer goes on to state that Texans will be safer and freer when there are no unnecessary restrictions on lawful gun ownership. I can’t imagine how fewer restrictions on gun ownership will stop the escalating gun violence in this country.


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