Re: Feb. 25 article, “PolitiFact: Pence points to nonexistent border terrorists.”
The recent “Pants on Fire” Mike Pence statement is not a simple error. It’s a scripted, deliberate lie. Nobody at that level except President Trump sounds off without having been provided with a carefully crafted script. This one was created with the intention of arousing a demographic ripe for this message and ready to react.
Gaslighting is a form of manipulation using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction and lying.
Unfortunately, the people most ready for this will not question it because it’s aligned with other beliefs unsupported by either facts or logic.
My expectation is that we’re in for a lot more of it.
PETER FLYNN, PFLUGERVILLE
President Trump has finally conceded that Russians interfered in the 2016 election, though he keeps claiming that it made no difference to the result. As usual, President Trump and the truth are not on speaking terms.
Trump lost the popular vote bigly and won the electoral vote via razor-thin margins in three states: Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Prior to the election, Russian trolls spent millions disseminating toxic fake news about Hillary Clinton — news that Facebook estimates reached 126 million Americans.
Those lies only had to change a few votes in a few counties in those three states to have swung the election to Trump. Is it any wonder that the president can’t bring himself to condemn Vladimir Putin, the man who put him in the White House?
BILL YOUNG, MANOR
Though I don’t like Confederate school names, I want to see the Austin Independent School District use whatever money they have to immediately improve the security at our schools to protect everyone inside.
My daughter attends Bowie High School, which has multiple buildings. The school campus should be enclosed in tall fences to deter anyone from walking unchecked onto the school grounds. The only entry points should have a guard.
Also, the elementary schools use a door buzzer, so that someone who wants to enter the school has to ring the buzzer, and then someone in an office down the hall lets the door open. They can’t see who is entering before the person is already in the building. Instead, someone should be stationed close to the front door — to ask through the speaker for the person requesting entry to show their credential. More can be done at all our schools.
LORI DURAN, AUSTIN
Re: Feb. 26 commentary, “Hamilton and Madison never imagined assault weapons.”
Thank you Claude Ducloux. I wish every one of my National Rifle Association friends would read your column with an open mind to the original intent of the Second Amendment. But, unfortunately, I think America is divided between those who want to know the original intent and those who have already made up their minds — or gain some kind of benefit in not wanting to know.
What they gain is the misguided idea that democracy means everyone has the right to do whatever they please, either as individuals or states. What was true in 1796, when Washington was preparing his farewell address, is true today. Washington’s deepest concern for the survival of democracy was disunion: placing one’s personal agenda above loyalty to the nation.
BOB PARSONS, PFLUGERVILLE
There is no perfect solution toward the argument on gun control. Taking away or keeping guns for the citizens to bear won’t solve the anarchy of these massacres. I don’t believe that this is the fault of just the Republican Party or any party.
The people and politicians must remember that this nation was founded on making changes to satisfy the whole of the nation — and taking away something or doing nothing does not satisfy both ends of the spectrum.
We should limit the accessibility of gaining high-powered weapons. There should be more strict laws and regulations for obtaining these types of weapons so that those who are not mentally stable either will not make it pass the front door or will not have the patients to go through the work to get guns with such magnum. Meet both parties half way.
ADAM SHERRILL, CEDAR PARK
Other countries besides the U.S. have mentally ill people who receive poor mental health care services. Other countries also have schools. What makes us different? Our citizens have easy access to weapons which only serve one purpose: killing. Other countries do not. We have children killed in schools on a recurring basis. Other countries do not.
The National Rifle Association positions itself as the owners and sole interpreters of the Second Amendment. Sorry guys — it is my Constitution as well. This is not what the founding fathers had in mind.
The NRA lobbies for the gun manufacturers and wraps the flag of patriotism around their organization. Fearmongering and catchy slogans are the norm. Wayne LaPierre recently said that schools need to be the most “hardened targets.” When did schools become “targets?” When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
TERENCE DORAN, BURNET