It takes the power of law to save people’s lives. Texas laws around gun safety must be improved. I testified at a Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence hearing about increased penalties for gun negligence. My family owns guns. Our guns are stored securely, unloaded and separate from ammunition.
I know firsthand what it’s like to lose a child to a gun owner’s negligence. What hurts as much is knowing how preventable my son’s death was. Safe storage might have saved his life. That gun owner never wanted to cause harm. There must be a penalty, though, or behavior won’t change.
If any parent leaves a loaded firearm unsecured, and it results in the death of a child, they are only charged with a misdemeanor. Gun negligence that takes young lives deserves greater punishment that will spark changes. It’s time to start making owners more accountable for their guns.
LEESA ROSS, AUSTIN
Re: July 21 letter to the editor, “Death penalty needs to be vetted not abolished.”
I agree with the Milam County district attorney that the death penalty needs some vetting.
Certainly, persons who are convicted of heinous crimes may deserve to die. But if the state is going to kill that person, the vetting should start at the trial; that is, no death penalty unless the defendant is proven guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt — and not just beyond a reasonable doubt.
Life without parole if just “reasonable.” There should be no doubt in capital punishment. That would spare us the absurdity of cases like Rodney Reed in Bastrop County, where guilt is reasonably questioned.
EUGENE CZORA, CEDAR CREEK
The administration plans a military parade this fall with a reported 5,000 - 7,000 troops and attendant combat vehicles on the streets of Washington, D.C. It’s reasonable to think that there may be military aircraft as well. This is pitched as a way to “honor” our military and show the administration’s “love” for vets. Estimates of cost are between $10 million and $30 million.
Every day, veterans depend on charities, such as Wounded Warriors, Homes for Our Troops, and the Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust for their basic needs.
Until veterans no longer need charitable handouts for their survival, spending tens of millions of dollars on public self-gratification is proof that any “love” for vets is claptrap.
DEAN MERICAS, AUSTIN
I would like to know the last time that our District 25 representative has held a town hall meeting that was open to all voters, not just members of a certain group. Does anyone know?
With an election coming up in November, it is important for all in this district to hear and question the representative in person. That’s why I’m asking Roger Williams, via letters and calls to his office, to hold town halls in all parts of this long, gerrymandered district that stretches from the suburbs of Fort Worth to Wimberley.
Is it too much to ask that he meet with us in an open meeting where he can speak and answer questions? Is it too much to ask that he engage in public debates with his Democratic opponent, Julie Oliver?
GUY ROLLINS, WIMBERLEY
People should not demonstrate nor riot every time law enforcement officers are required to use force to enforce the law. All citizens — regardless of race, color or creed — should respect our laws and to abide by them. To do otherwise is unpatriotic to say the least. Those who break the law need to be punished, not idolized.
We have a sitting president who is an embarrassment to our country. Yes, he has done some good, but the bad far outweighs any good that he has done. It is no wonder why our allies are becoming disenchanted with him.
Citizens need to scrutinize a candidate’s voting record before ever casting a vote.
ED LINDSAY, FORT WORTH
If President Obama had done what Trump did with Vladimir Putin, he would have had articles of impeachment waiting for him when Air Force One touched down on American soil.
It is time for the GOP congresspersons to stand up for America — or for the American people to stand up in November and replace them. Our democracy is at stake.
RON HEPLER, ROUND ROCK
When the uncontrollable child wields power beyond acceptable norms — hateful, bullying, dishonest, immoral, incomprehensible; his outcries surpassing deafening pitch; his behavior threatening the safety of those around him, or say, the lives of a nation — it’s expected that the adults in charge will take charge. Restrain, discipline and remove him for the good of all concerned.
Yes, if you are a member of Congress, hold a Cabinet position or serve the American public, you are expected to be the adults in the situation.
Where are the adult leaders appointed or elected to take charge? Your behavior is no less reprehensible than his. Americans stand in utter disgust at the months you have stood by hands in greedy, self-serving, hateful and deceiving pockets, refusing to stand up to he who with every word expresses he is out of control and has, in fact, jumped ship.
SANDRA HUSTON, AUSTIN