Letters to the editor: Aug. 17, 2018


Re: Aug. 13 commentary, “Two views: ‘Red flag’ law makes us vulnerable to ‘thought police.’

Monday’s Two Views on extreme risk — or “red flag” — legislation missed the mark; extreme risk laws are evidence-based policies. These cutting-edge, commonsense laws follow established protective order systems with due process protections in all 50 states, including Texas.

Texas law already prohibits firearms possession by domestic abusers. An extreme risk law would create a parallel system where judges would assess an individual’s dangerousness to self or others and temporarily prohibit firearms purchase and possession based on that assessment.

The evidence is clear: Firearms make crises deadly, and temporarily separating firearms from high-risk individuals can save lives. Thirteen states — eight in 2018 alone — have enacted extreme risk laws to prevent tragedies. Momentum behind extreme risk laws is building, with broad, bipartisan support nationwide. Meanwhile, Texas is missing an opportunity to lead on gun safety with a commonsense policy that protects both the rights and public safety of its residents.

VICKA CHAPLIN, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH PROGRAMS FOR THE COALITION TO STOP GUN VIOLENCE, SAN ANTONIO

Re: Aug. 13 commentary, “Two views: ‘Red flag’ law makes us vulnerable to ‘thought police.’

Rachel Malone’s contribution to the gun debate is just another serving of the usual National Rifle Association/GOP style baloney.

Simply put, she speaks for people who would rather have free and unfettered access to guns than have living children. They have made their choice, and we all must live with it.

Make America Great Again?

MARK MCCARTHY, ROUND ROCK

Regarding the debate over Confederate and pioneer statues, unfortunately this is our history. Every country has moments in history that they regret. We should not apply 2018 thinking into the hearts and minds of people who suffered through our country’s growing pains; they did what they thought was right at the time.

We should not try to rewrite or ignore our history by removing it — but celebrate that we have learned from past misjudgments, and no longer feel or act this way. Taking down statues all over the country won’t change the history, but it would eliminate a source of discussion for the next generation to see how far we have come.

ANNETTE BROWN, LAKEWAY

Charlottesville was a year ago.

I think of my father and my uncles who served in the Army in World War II and fought against the Nazis in Germany. That there were neo-Nazis marching in the U.S. in 2017 and 2018 is shameful.

To think that currently there are people in this country who defend and sympathize with Nazis is angering and offensive. It’s a disgrace and un-American to all the veterans who fought in World War II.

The Nazis were our enemy. Everything they stood for, and stand for now — racism and anti-Semitism, among other things — should be unequivocally condemned and rejected.

ADRIAN ZAPATA, AUSTIN

A recent letter writer complained that many people don’t preface Donald Trump’s name with “president” or “Mr.”

Why should we? This vile occupant of the White House deserves no honorific. Case in point: Trump signed the defense spending bill named in honor of Sen. John McCain, not mentioning the senator and even omitting his name as he read the title of the bill — an all-too-typical desecration.

Trump deserves no respect. He is vicious, a serial woman-grabber, a racist and a total liar foisted on the country by the Electoral College. But, being a TV huckster, Trump has achieved the status of a one-name celebrity like Dagmar or Cher — with apologies to both women.

JOHN HENGST, AUSTIN

Re: Aug. 12 letter to the editor, “Who pays while president plays?

The letter from a reader in Wimberley recently asked who pays for President Trump’s trips to his own golf clubs, hotel rooms, Secret Service and White House staff. Do our taxes pay for his campaign trips for other Republicans?

How soon liberals forget about President Obama’s years. Obama vacationed with his family annually in Hawaii, and also vacationed in Africa. He, too, used Air Force One to campaign for fellow Democrats.

Even while accepting no salary, President Trump has accomplished more so far than other presidents during their entire terms. He daily faces a hostile media and negative liberal activity, but consistently does more with less.

Why not support his efforts for once and help him “Make America Great Again”?

ROY A. HENLEY, MARBLE FALLS

Re: Aug. 12 article, “How are we stopping election interference?”

The New York Times’ Weekly Explainer article, referencing election security, states, “While it is possible to hack voting devices to rig an election, experts say, intruding into enough of them to change the outcome would be extremely difficult.”

Trump’s election was dependent on vote tallies in three counties in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania; yet, it was sufficient to give him an electoral victory, despite losing the popular vote by a significant margin.

So, should statements such as “experts say” and “extremely difficult” help those who believe in democracy feel more secure? Are we supposed to believe that election hackers are not intelligent enough to know where their votes should be most useful, considering that many of the votes aren’t backed by paper, and given the antiquated nature of the intent of our Electoral College?

DRU EDRINGTON, GEORGETOWN



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