Letters to the editor: Nov. 8, 2017

    Nov 07, 2017

I was saddened and appalled to learn that while I sat in my house of worship on Sunday, dozens of people were being slaughtered in a church less than 100 miles away.

I am greatly angered by the mockery made by our governor and other elected officials by their request for prayers for the victims and their families. Their prayers ring hollow when they alone have the power to stop the bloodshed by passing sensible gun control laws. This is not the time to talk about people who are evil or mentally ill or immigrants; it is time to take away weapons that can cause this kind of slaughter.

Yes, I most certainly will pray for the victims and their families, but I will pray even harder that our elected officials will summon the courage to take action before the next violent act occurs.

SUSAN MILAM, CEDAR CREEK

Gov. Abbott and President Trump spent much time empathizing, demonizing, sympathizing, proselytizing and sermonizing about Sunday’s massacre. Nowhere in all of their “-izing” did either address a solution to this repetitive and increasing crime.

What are our alleged leaders going to do about it? The only person addressing a solution was a peace officer who said, “this has happened before.” In other words, get used to it. Is that Abbott’s solution? Get used to it?

A few well-thought-out laws strictly limiting access to semi-automatic guns would mitigate, if not eventually eliminate, this kind of mass murder.

ANTHONY TODESCO, BUDA

When questioned about what could be done about these horrible mass shootings, our governor stated that evil goes back to biblical times and that we should pray.

Our chief law enforcement officer says that people in churches need to have guns. All this while the ruling party is cutting funding for mental health. But the president says that this is a mental health, not guns, issue. Something appears to be terribly wrong.

AL GILES, AUSTIN

Re: Nov. 5 article, “Family of hero killed at party looks to preserve legacy in West Texas.”

Mark Wilson’s story about Ted McCloskey’s act of heroism — and his father and brother’s genuine love and compassion for him — were greatly appreciated.

Heroes are born — not made — and act unselfishly in times of need. We are blessed to have them in our daily lives.

H. FRANK SEVERN III, CEDAR PARK

Re: Nov. 5 article, “Former Rockwall councilman to challenge Lt. Gov. Patrick in primary.”

I don’t know which bothered Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s political consultant Allen Blakemore more: Scott Milder’s announcement that he’s running for lieutenant governor, or his less than stellar evaluation of Patrick’s abilities.

In response, Blakemore cites endorsements for his boss “from Gov. Abbott, Sen. Cornyn, Sen. Cruz.”

I had to chuckle. If Larry were running for office, he’d get endorsed by Moe and Curly, right?

ROBERT ELLIOTT, KYLE

Re: Nov. 3 commentary, “Herman: Weighing in on barbecue scales.”

I wonder if the barbecue restaurants that are whining about the prohibitive $35 cost of certifying their scales get their wholesale meat from certified scales? And would they be OK if they didn’t?

I can’t imagine that County Line’s profit is so razor thin that the owner can’t afford to certify all 40 of his scales. That’s less than two rib plates per restaurant at their prices. Maybe they can start a Go Fund Me campaign. Normally, I would say that the scales issue is not really any big deal — but if the restaurateurs are so worried about it, maybe there is something there. Think about it. The thousands of meals served monthly would certainly add up if they were shorting customers only a few ounces.

MIKE WAGNER, ROUND ROCK

Now that property taxes will be due soon, I think it is a good time to consider eliminating school taxes on qualified homesteads for those of us who are over 65 or disabled.

Why? We no longer have children in school. We elderly and disabled have less income. We will not have to transfer our school tax ceiling percent if we relocate our homestead to another county in a higher tax area. Plus, as student populations and corresponding homesteads increase, so do the tax bases.

Now, to discourage cheaters, counties should share data to catch property owners that have multiple “homesteads” throughout the state.

CLIFF PATE, LEANDER

If we look at the overall economy, we see low inflation, low unemployment, good profits and rising interest rates. No recession, no dot-com bubble, no mortgage collapse. The stock market at record highs. These are the good times. And yet, the most recent reports are of a $666 billion deficit — and the new tax proposal increases it by more than $1 trillion dollars!

If we can’t raise enough tax revenue during the good times to cover our budget, how can we possibly ever balance it? The last time we had a surplus, the national debt was about $10 trillion; now it is double that — a result of the last round of tax cuts. Leave tax rates where they are and use meaningful tax reform to again generate a tax surplus. Then, we can discuss tax cuts. There should be no tax cuts until after we have a balanced budget.

JAMES PETERSON, AUSTIN