Letters to the editor: Nov. 19, 2017

    Nov 18, 2017

Nov. 15 commentary, “What if Sutherland Springs had no ‘good guy with a gun’?”

“The fact that a bystander armed with his own rifle chased and shot the perpetrator in Sutherland Springs crucially transforms the terrain of the political interpretation of the shootings.”

Say what?

Twenty-six people died. Children died. Families were destroyed. A small town will never be the same. What kind of distorted logic leads anyone to see this as anything less than a complete tragedy? Because the shooter could have killed 50? 100?

The shooter had an assault rifle. Should we fight fire with fire and have people armed with AR-15s at schools, churches and workplaces? Sounds lovely. The “good guy” was an expert marksman. In addition to seeing guns everywhere, should we turn half the populace into law enforcement officers?

The “good guy with a gun” narrative over improved gun control adds up to a deranged society — exactly what the extremist NRA wants.

DAVID WEINBERG, AUSTIN

Re: Nov. 12 commentary, “Heroes and vigilantes and gun laws.”

Ken Herman’s column falsely seeks to cast blame on mental health issues and violent movies for recent mass shootings.

If violent movies were to blame, then why do other industrialized nations of the world have dramatically lower levels of gun violence than us despite of having the same violent media content available to their citizens as we have?

Mental health issues are to blame? We have a gun homicide rate 30 times greater than the British, so do we have 30 times as many mentally ill people per capita as them? I don’t think so.

What we do have a lot more of in this country than the British are guns. Congress needs to look toward passing gun laws like the U.K. and Japan have. Both countries have among the toughest gun control laws in the world — and not surprisingly gun violence is virtually nonexistent in these countries.

NEAL JOHN, AUSTIN

Re: Nov. 14 article, “AISD moves to rename remaining schools with Confederate ties by August.”

So, the school board president says, “We don’t need schools named for Confederate soldiers and sympathizers.”

What a shallow, simplistic view of people living in a different time, facing the complex issues of slavery and state’s rights that our country had struggled with from its founding. How sad that a whole generation of Americans are painted with such a broad stroke — never mind their accomplishments or contributions. It all comes down to Confederates bad, Federals good.

Consider this: In 1836, Santa Anna swept in to Texas to put down a rebellion and free the slaves. Based on the school board’s criteria, sounds like a school should be named after him.

WILLIAM L. CAMPBELL, CEDAR PARK

Re: Nov. 14 article, “AISD moves to rename remaining schools with Confederate ties by August.”

I read again about five schools changing their names because they were named after Confederate soldiers and statesmen. I’m tired of all this racism.

I am being discriminated against just because I am from the South — and more specifically, from Texas. These Confederate figures were part of our Southern history. Even if you don’t agree with them today, they were doing what they thought was right at their time in life.

Leave our history alone. You can’t change the past; it is what it is. I am proud of being from the South and especially a native Texan. If you don’t like our state, then get out.

ANITA BRADLEY, LEANDER

Re: Nov. 15 letter to the editor, “If contraception is key, find job that provides it.”

The letter writer forgets that these institutions receive federal, state and local money for the services they provide, directly or indirectly.

We are also a secular country, subject to federal, state and local laws and regulations. If these institutions do not want to abide by these laws and regulations and are given a way out — like drop all federal, state and local subsidies or remove themselves from the business completely — they can do that. Someone else will pick up the slack. Then, they will not need to comply and their conscience will be clear.

GILBERTO MENDOZA, AUSTIN

I am outraged, offended and frustrated that Attorney General Jeff Sessions thinks we should believe him when he answers, under oath, that he cannot recall.

If he cannot recall, then he is clearly unfit to be the attorney general of the United States — or senator from Alabama, or any other job with a modicum of responsibility.

He needs to resign immediately and go quietly back home to be cared for by his doctor and his family. Of course, if he is lying, he needs to resign immediately and hope that he can go back home and remain out of the public view forever instead of going to jail.

NANCY LABASTIDA, AUSTIN

Re: Nov. 15 letter to the editor, “Time to get ‘political’ about mass murders.”

Ideas to prevent further mass shootings abound, as all of us would like to prevent further bloodshed. Most are simply impractical, but occasionally one is floated that is really bad, like the suggestion in Wednesday’s letter that a person must be part of a military unit to purchase certain poorly defined types of guns.

The writer should watch “Full Metal Jacket,” or at least the scene where the drill instructor lectures trainees at the gun range, pointing out that Charles Whitman and Lee Harvey Oswald learned their marksmanship in the Marine Corps.

LAWRENCE RAGAN, AUSTIN