Letters to the editor: Nov. 12, 2017

    12:00 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 Opinion
Nick Wagner
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during the Texas Tribune Festival at Hogg Memorial Auditorium on Sept. 24. NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Ted Cruz, during his visit to Sutherland Springs following the tragic shootings, replied to a reporter’s question by saying, “We don’t need politics right now.”

Cruz, you are a politician — it’s your job. You are not a first responder; you are not a chaplain; you are not a doctor; you are not a law enforcement officer. If you don’t want to answer questions about politics, then don’t show up and be self-righteous and offended by the questions.

I continue to wait for our leaders to find that right time to start talking about sensible gun control. Numerous other countries seem to have solutions, so I know it is not impossible. When you refuse to take another dime from the NRA, then perhaps I’ll listen to you. (And we own guns, by the way.)

ANN G. YOUNG, AUSTIN

Men use semiautomatic weapons to murder innocent victims attending schools, churches, movies and concerts because they suffer from mental illness.

Children, parents, students, first responders, preachers and teachers are slaughtered. The numbers are staggering. And it is totally due to mental illness.

There is absolutely no other reason. Our elected representatives clarify this as they sorrowfully respond to the bereaved, one incident after another.

What if some of these killers are not mentally ill, but simply raging with anger and mean to the core? What if they have extreme clarity of thought as they plan their attack, after lawfully obtaining weaponry?

With a few more weekly incidents, a few hundred more fatalities, will we learn to accept this? That there is nothing that can be done. There are no changes to be made. It is mental illness … nothing else.

FARRA ROESSNER, AUSTIN

As a kid reading horoscopes in the newspaper, I still remember the printed disclaimer accompanying them: “For entertainment purposes only.”

Now that we know that Russian trolls placed thousands of fake ads and posts on social media seen by over a hundred million people during the 2016 election cycle, folks are arguing about how to prevent a recurrence. The true purchaser of an ad must be made clear, some say, so readers can ascertain its veracity. However, this and other remedies won’t work; readers pay scant attention, and ad sales are automated.

The solution? For news, stick to professional journalists — the people who went to college to learn how to report the news. Journalists report via many outlets and platforms nowadays, but the one thing they all have in common is that they are credentialed professionals. Enjoy social media, if you choose, but remember: It’s for entertainment purposes only.

LUCY F. PETRUCELLI, AUSTIN

Our local mobility planners have done it again.

An enormously expensive set of ideas with years of construction and traffic congestion is proposed for Interstate 35. Current taxpaying citizens are expected to endure the ever-escalating taxation along with congestion for foreseeable years. It seems like initial proposals are absurd so that subsequent, equally harmful proposals seem less onerous.

How about taking toll off Texas 130, deeding it to the feds making it federal I-35; reroute I-35 to Texas 130 from Buda to north of Austin? Construction of the reroute would cause less congestion and is less expensive to taxpayers than current proposal. Make current I-35 a city route; add one north/south HOV lane on both decks, no tolls.

SAMMY EASTERDAY, AUSTIN

Re: Nov. 6 letter to the editor, “Loss of Arbor Regal would be a real shame.”

I agree with letter writer about the closing and demolition of the Regal Arbor Cinema being a bad idea.

This theater shows films that cannot easily be found in other parts of the Austin metro area, if at all. My wife and I drive from Georgetown to the Arbor about twice a week just to see these films, and we dread the thought of having to drive to another chain’s theater location in South Austin just to see the movie in what I think is a theater with too much of a carnival atmosphere.

Please, Austin City Council, don’t allow the zoning change in that location. I do understand that developers have an extraordinary amount of cash and that property tax revenues would increase, but the quality of life in Austin will surely decrease if the planned development would be allowed to go forward.

PETE VERA, GEORGETOWN

In most countries, citizens have ceded to their governments the right to stockpile firearms. In America, we guarantee to citizens the right to stockpile firearms and use them on a regular basis to slaughter fellow Americans.

Since even mass slaughter in our streets, schools and churches apparently will never convince venal politicians to enact reasonable and sane restrictions on individual ownership of firearms, another solution to the current intolerable level of mass slaughter in America must be found.

Since 99 percent of mass murderers are men, one solution seems obvious. Federal law should be enacted requiring every female child to receive extensive training in the use of firearms. After such training, all women will be required to carry a loaded firearm at all times. In addition to delighting the gun industry, the number of domestic assaults, sexual assaults and mass murders might just decrease as well.

KENT ANSCHUTZ, AUSTIN

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