Letters to the editor: March 5, 2018


Re: Feb. 26 article, “Catholic bishops sever ties to Texas Right to Life, exposing rift.

So, Bishop Joe Vasquez split with Texas Right to Life because he did not appreciate that group telling him what his religious beliefs were — and because that group wanted the state to take positions the bishop felt were too extreme?

Look in the mirror, Bishop.

Maybe you will see that many of us out here do not appreciate some group telling us what our religious beliefs should be and demanding that the state enforce those views on us.

JEROME GARVEY, AUSTIN

Statistics show that most mericans fear the future of our environment as we experience raging life-changing climate events. Why do our leaders do nothing?

Our country suffers from an “us versus them” mentality held by our president, Congress, and our citizenry). Instead of thinking of yourself as an “R” or “D,” why not think of yourself as an “H” — a human with a profound need to breath air, drink water and live in shelter, and with a mind that can appreciate our beautiful earth with its rich diversity of nature.

We have so much in common. I encourage you — Republican, Democrat and Human — to call or write your representatives in Congress. Join the well-focused Citizens Climate Lobby dedicated to bipartisanship. Let the organization guide you in making a difference. It guided me to write this letter.

PAT YINGST, AUSTIN

In response to an NBC reporter’s asking Ivanka Trump if she believed the women who have accused her father of sexual misconduct, she answered that the question itself was inappropriate. “I don’t think that’s a question you would ask many other daughters,” she replied. Perhaps not. But Ivanka Trump is not just any daughter — and her father is not just any father. He happens to be the president — and she happens to be a member of his administration. So, not only is the question appropriate, it’s essential.

Ivanka should drop her smelling salts, lady fan and faux outrage. Because she and her father are public servants, we, the citizens of this country, have every right to ask her any and all questions regarding their comportment while they remain in office. Once Ivanka returns to private life, she may then opine on the appropriateness of reporters’ questions.

LUCY F. PETRUCELLI, AUSTIN

America is hurting. America demands answers to horrific violence and tragic loss of life. Some fall for the lure of the quick fix or easy slogan.

Answers are only found within our homes.

Answers are only found with parents who set an unshakeable foundation and reverence for life for their children to assimilate. Answers are found in young people who, if they are overwhelmed by mental health, drugs or peer pressures, have the wisdom and courage to seek out help without succumbing to the worst of human emotions. Taking away rights or building walls won’t solve anything. We must win the battle for the souls of our children.

DON CILLO, TEMPLE

In the wake of the tragic school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School, our freshly renewed debate over gun control should include perspective from our country’s political father, the United Kingdom. Not in policy, because the British solution to gun control is just that: a British solution. Instead, we should look toward the British historical success in gradualism.

The process of reforming policy — carefully, slowly, and with great reason from lengthy debate applied. The two sides of the gun control debate need to apply this principle of moderate reform. Neither the arming of teachers nor the banning of semiautomatic weapons will prevail.

No matter the political stripes of any American, a serious dose of realpolitik, or the politics of reality, as famously practiced by Otto von Bismarck, along with British gradualism are needed to find a working moderate solution for our society.

ANDREW MAUGHAN, AUSTIN

For too long, the National Rifle Association has been able to dictate the debate about guns and gun violence. Politicians are so scared of their influence that after every new tragedy, conversations about solutions to this epidemic start as pitiful half-measures and die from there.

Here’s an idea: Start the conversation at “take away everybody’s guns.” Move the parameters of the conversation, and maybe we can get to meaningful reform.

I understand we live in a country with millions of guns — and the prospect of disarming everyone is almost unimaginable. Except that the NRA and all the Second Amendment fanatics already imagine this as the goal of any and all efforts on controlling the carnage. Starting with “take away everybody’s guns” could lead to a middle ground, where assault rifles are banned and background checks are universal. Starting with “ban bump stocks” leads to nothing — except the next tragedy.

RA SMITH, AUSTIN

Re: Feb. 27 commentary, “Douglas student journalists setting admirable standard.”

A big thank you to the Statesman for Mary Sanchez’s editorial praising the student journalists of Majory Stoneman Douglas High School for in-depth reporting of the mass shooting and aftermath at their school.

And to their teacher for shielding them and others during the rampage. Also, for encouraging her students to do their video and — I presume — print reporting.

They were able to accurately cover the real, inside story. Student journalism at its best!

FLAVIUS HARKRIDER, LIBERTY HILL



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