While visiting the Czech Republic, I broke my shoulder and had to go to an emergency room. Four people — including myself — were waiting to be seen. No one showed outward signs of illness or distress. I quickly was seen by a doctor who ordered X-rays. He reviewed the films, copied them to a CD for me to take and told me to return to the U.S. for surgery. I was fitted with a substantial brace and given medication. I was in the ER under an hour and paid $57 in U.S. dollars.
The Czech Republic has a health care system where everyone is required to participate. What is wrong with this? Health care should be designed not to create wealth for those affiliated with the industry, but to provide health care for all and to make sick people healthy. Why can’t we emulate other countries that know a healthy population enhances all aspects of their society?
NANCY GUYNN, GEORGETOWN
Re: Oct. 4 article, “Justices consider limiting extreme gerrymandering.”
The Supreme Court is considering whether extreme political gerrymandering has crossed a constitutional line. While I am not a constitutional scholar, I recognize cheating when I see it. Common sense tells me that the intentional skewing of votes to favor one party over another is both wrong and dangerous.
Retired Wisconsin state Rep. Dale Schultz has spoken up, detailing his experiences in backrooms where secret agreements and sophisticated computer programs have allowed the political party in the majority to essentially guarantee that votes coming from voters in the other party will be nullified.
Texas has some of the worst gerrymandering and this undermines the most basic and critically important underpins of democracy: access for every citizen and truly competitive elections. Let’s hope our Supreme Court does a “check and balance” and restores true democracy to keep our country true to its democratic principles.
MEG COE, DRIPPING SPRINGS
Once again, our country has experienced another major disaster caused by the use of automatic and semi-automatic firearms and high-capacity magazines.
Obviously, present practices, regulations and personnel-screening are not effectively controlling the basic cause of gunfire disaster.
Laws are needed now to allow only law enforcement and military to possess and use automatic and semi-automatic firearms. Such laws would not violate the U. S. Constitution, since other type firearms could still be owned and used by our population.
Congress needs to enact laws and regulations now, not merely “talk” about it about the problem.
BILL GRAF, AUSTIN
I confess to a decadeslong, knee-jerk reaction to the NRA. I still get the creeps when I remember that image of Charlton Heston raising that rifle over his head and daring anyone to pry it out of his cold, dead hands. Now, though, it’s time for the NRA and the anti-gun lovers to bring their perspectives and their expertise to the problem-solving table. It is no longer a matter of one side winning and the other losing; if we can’t reason together, it is a matter of everyone losing.
We must find ways to have our rights and to be protected from those who would do us harm — and that goes for both sides. It is time for clear minds and calm voices to prevail in the issues of gun ownership and control, lest every public gathering become a potential killing ground for those who are past reason and compassion.
BOBBIE SANDERS, AUSTIN
Re:Oct. 1 letter to the editor “Trump’s backers are happy, well-informed.”
The letter writer claims that Trump supporters are well-informed and happy. Happy, perhaps, but well-informed, not so much.
First, if he thinks Trump’s opponents are angry because they’re “sore losers” about the election, he is misinformed about the nature of resistance to Trump’s sabotaging of all that is fair, just and equitable in America.
Second, if Trump’s supporters believe the endless stream of lies, fabrications and petty grievances that issue daily from the president’s mouth and Twitter feed, they are, by definition, misinformed.
My guess? They know but really don’t care. Ignorance is “happy.”
SCOTT STARK, AUSTIN
A letter to the editor published Friday, Oct. 6 gave the wrong hometown for the writer. David Butler is of Georgetown.
Is the country doing enough to prevent attacks like the one in Las Vegas? We’d like to hear your responses? Please send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org