Letters to the editor: March 7, 2018

Re: Feb. 25 article, “Giving City: Need cited for providing foster parent info in Spanish.”

Choosing to foster or adopt is an incredibly powerful — yet rare — choice. The shortage of people who are willing to make that choice must certainly be discouraging to children waiting for the opportunity to be loved and protected. It is shocking to know that in a state where Hispanics make up a large portion of the population that a lack of information and training sessions for Spanish speakers was not confronted years ago — especially in a city as diverse and progressive as Austin.

They certainly may not have been excluding Spanish-speaking families specifically, but when required trainings are not offered, the lack of accessibility is exclusionary in itself. All being said, it is inspiring that fostering and adopting can be attainable for Spanish-speaking families. More families means more children being placed in families with open and accepting arms.


Re: March 1 article, “Bastrop prepares traps to control feral chicken population.”

There are a lot of chickens running around the islands of Hawaii — and I believe that both locals and tourists are quite happy with them.

They add lots of color, clean up the bugs and make far less mess than say, the 150,000 pounds of dog poop that is produced in Austin every day, as estimated by the city’s Scoop the Poop program. Bastrop likes tourist dollars. Follow the experts. Embrace the chickens.


National Security Agency Chief Mike Rogers said that he had not been directed by the president to investigate ways to address Russian interference in our elections. What this obviously means is that a foreign power has faced very limited and negligible sanctions for interfering in our democracy.

Where is the outrage of Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn? Where is their love of country? How can they look the other way as the leader of our country allows a foreign power to meddle in our government? I implore our senators to use their elected office to ask Trump to direct the National Security Agency to work to prevent the Russians from interfering again.

I look forward to hearing the senators’ public encouragement and defense of American democracy.


Some suggestions for ending the massacre of our children are appalling — asking teachers to carry guns really takes the cake.

I taught elementary school for 23 years. The thought of armed teachers is absolutely terrifying to me. As an armed teacher, to be effective, I would have to wear the gun on my person constantly — and it would have to be loaded.

If a gunman entered the room and started shooting, the children would not continue to sit quietly in their seats. Most likely, they would be running around the room screaming. I would be at the front of the room, an immediate and perfect target. Panicked, I would struggle to access my gun, aim at a moving target, and then if I hadn’t already been shot, would hesitate to shoot for fear of killing one of my students. Wouldn’t it just be safer to ban military-style weapons?


Re: Feb. 27 letter to the editor, “Is teacher’s handgun a match for AR-15?

We do in fact expect our law enforcement officers to go up against bad guys with AR-15’s armed only with handguns — and handguns in the possession of the good guys can win.

The most recent high profile example of this is the May 2015 incident in Garland, where two terrorists armed with “assault rifles” and wearing body armor attacked a Garland school district building housing an exhibit of Muslim-related cartoons. A very brave Garland police officer confronted the attackers while armed with a handgun, exchanged gunfire with them, and killed both terrorists.

Therefore, the NRA is not the one that’s guilty of “false logic” as claimed by anti-Second Amendment activists. If we want to meaningfully contribute to the American marketplace of ideas, we must pay attention to the facts, not political agendas.


Confucius tells us “the beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.”

The AR-15 is not an assault rifle; it is not an M-16 or M-4.

It does not fire in automatic or “machine gun” mode, which is the essential characteristic of assault rifles.


The two provisions of the Second Amendment do not validate our social acceptance of belligerent militant behavior of anyone in this country.

Does anyone believe that our founders envisioned “a well-regulated militia” to include millions of super-armed unregulated citizens — every single one of them unbound by any law of gun ownership qualification or public assembly restriction and possessing multiple rapid-fire, 21st-century, military-style weapons — to actually be considered a lawful well-regulated militia? Does anyone believe our founders could have ever imagined the firepower capability of these assault rifles? Did our founders frame “the right to bear arms” provision to embrace the notion that it should be perfectly legal for any civilian anywhere in the country, to own, buy or sell such weapons?

For those who believe the answer to anyone of those questions is “yes,” then that is enough reason to rewrite the Second Amendment.


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