Once again, we wake up to another mass shooting in America. Even greater than the 49 killed in Orlando last year. A disturbing trend, but one that I believe will continue since our country, and our state, will do nothing to address gun violence. Texas even rejected a safe gun-storage education campaign last legislative session. This is the only public safety issue of this magnitude in our state that most leaders simply won’t address, even though 3,200 Texans die annually from gun violence.
Now, our thoughts are with the people of Las Vegas and their families. We hope for recovery by those injured and comfort for those who lost loved ones. But after that is over, I desperately hope that some leader on the national level will stand up and say it’s time to address this problem and better protect Americans.
ANDREA BRAUER, AUSTIN
Re: Sept. 29 letter to the editor, “Pool’s ‘bad faith’ shows she’s unfit to hold office.”
To the gentleman who recently expressed his “astonishment and concern” over Council Member Leslie Pool’s continuing questioning of the fiscally irresponsible Domain subsidies and his hope that the “voters will take notice,” I must remind him that they already have.
Pool was re-elected last year by the greatest margin — 75 percent — and highest number of votes — 21,000-plus — of any council member. Crony capitalism is not a popular practice in Austin.
JIM DUNCAN, AUSTIN
Re: Oct. 2 commentary, “Trump wants infrastructure. Build us up with Public Works.”
U.S. corporations have $2.1 trillion parked overseas while waiting to see if Congress will grant them another “tax holiday.”
My suggestion to Congress: On a one-time basis, the U.S. reduces income taxes on overseas funds to 20 percent, conditioned upon those funds being deposited directly into a Federal Infrastructure Bank, managed by the U.S. Treasury Department, dedicated to U.S. infrastructure projects only. We give the corporations a tax break and fund our infrastructure needs.
Thanks to Chris Perri for bringing up this subject. We need the jobs now — and a minimum of $15 per hour for our workers. Our veterans should get first consideration.
LOU MCCREARY, AUSTIN
Re: Oct. 1 letter to the editor, “Players’ disrespect for flag disgusting.”
The writer finds the players’ behavior “disgusting and unforgivable.” As one Air Force veteran to another, please allow me to remind the author of several points.
First, one of the reasons we serve is to protect the civil rights of all Americans. Athletes who take a knee are as entitled to their opinion as the writer is entitled to his. Second, impugning the patriotism of those who take a knee misses the point. It is entirely possible to love our country while disagreeing with some of our actions. Third, the author implies that those who don’t stand during the national anthem are protesting our military. This could not be further from the truth. In a nonviolent way, they are protesting racial inequality and excessive police violence.
As a nation, we are far from perfect — and it is the responsibility of all of us to make it better. Our children and grandchildren deserve it.
PHILIP NYBRO, AUSTIN
Re: Sept. 28 letter to the editor, “Soldiers’ sacrifices protect protest rights.”
The writer just doesn’t get it. Our flag is a symbol of American unity and is not a political tool for everyone’s personal aversions of our society. Many Americans inclined to disrespect our “symbol of freedom” have never gone in harm’s way to protect our freedoms. That same symbol of freedom was draped over 58,000 caskets in the war I was in. I take this very personal.
The imagery and metaphors associated with our flag were often the impetus that helped me and others endure the mental and physical stresses of war. The flag is sacred — and it validated us. To some, nothing is sacred, as long as it gets the attention they desire. There are certainly better avenues for protesters to get their message heard without offending patriots, of which many may take the same side as you.
ROBERT WHITE, ROUND ROCK