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Letters to the editor: March 2, 2018


Polls in past elections revealed much voter displeasure with ballot choices. The phrase “lesser of two evils” is often expressed. While it is frequently true that the ideal candidate for a given elected office is not on the ballot, voters have an option.

Voters must use the primary process to shape the choices on the November ballot. Whether your ideal candidate is on the November ballot, participating in the primary means you have exercised your civic responsibility. If you choose not to vote in the primary, please don’t complain about the choices in November.

DON PRICE, CEDAR PARK

Sen. John Cornyn has introduced bipartisan gun-control legislation to strengthen the background check system, called the Fix NICS Act, and recently called on Congress to hold hearings on preventing future gun violence. As a gun violence issues voter, I applaud these efforts.

However, Cornyn continues to support legislation that would make it easier to purchase gun silencers, called the SHARE Act/Hearing Protection Act. He also authored the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill, which would weaken concealed carry laws across the nation.

Cornyn maintains that his support for these NRA-backed bills would conflict with his efforts to introduce commonsense gun legislation. I emphatically disagree. We need elected leaders who will unequivocally support legislation that will keep us safe from gun violence. In his continued support of deregulation of firearms, Cornyn shows us that he is not that leader.

LULU BAUTISTA, AUSTIN

Recently, at about 9:20 p.m., I was at a red light on Berkman Drive at Manor Road. I had my turn signal on, and when the light turned green, I turned right onto Manor. A bicycle suddenly appeared in front of my car. I braked, the bike rider took evasive action, and we avoided a crash.

The salient point was that the bike rider was wearing dark clothing, the bike was dark, and there were no reflective devices on the rider or on the bicycle.

Per state and city codes, bicycles need to have a front white light visible from at least 500 feet in the front and a red reflector or red light in the rear for riding at night.

Please, please bicyclists — and runners — use reflective equipment! I do not want to ruin your life and mine by hitting you because you blend into the darkness.

SUZY STEGE, AUSTIN

Is there an answer as to how to stop these senseless massacres of our school children? Will strict gun controls, close monitoring of mentally ill people, banning of assault weapons, or the placement of armed security personnel in schools stop them? No.

The solution is offered to us by a heroic coach who was murdered in this last slaughter. He is Aaron Feis, and he died shielding students with his body. If he had been armed, he would have stopped the massacre. If not him, then the next teacher could have. Alas, Florida schools are victim disarmament zones.

Thankfully, in Texas, teachers may be armed. However, each school district may opt to remain a victim disarmament zone, leaving our children at the mercy of killers. Austin, Leander and many other districts choose to leave our children unprotected. Obviously, they just don’t care.

KEN BREWER, AUSTIN

President Trump is advocating arming teachers and, in effect, making schools defensive fortresses. He has stated that we need to take the offensive. He is correct in that view. Taking the offensive to me means removing the means that allow mass murders. Remove the bump stocks and the sale of semi-automatic weapons.

If arming teachers inhibits gunmen from entering a school, then what prevents them from attacking a bus carrying 30 or 40 students? Arm all the bus drivers? Maybe the answer is to require all students to put on a bullet resistant vest as they leave home in the morning?

Other targets then become concerts, movie theatres and churches, as we’ve already seen. Is the answer to have armed guards everywhere? No one wants to live like that.

No one needs an AK-47 or AR-15 to defend themselves. We need to outlaw these types of weapons immediately.

STAN RETRUM, POINT VENTURE

Re: Feb. 25 article, “Warm air causing Arctic temps to spike.”

Amid titillating stories of memos and political intrigue, buried on page 10 of Sunday’s paper was the news that Arctic temperatures are 10-45 degrees above normal for this time of year. Ice is thawing even though the sun has not yet risen to end the Arctic night.

Such an observable event should spur members of both political parties to action. Climate adaptation and carbon mitigation will remain important for decades, even while the political shiny objects that so fascinate us ebb and flow daily.

BONNIE STUMP, GEORGETOWN



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