This concerned papa of adult daughters looks at what has recently happened on our hike-and-bike trails in our areas and has concluded we must get involved. Commence working together with our law enforcement forces to build a stronger foundation for a more secure and resilient Austin and Travis County.
As I’ve suggested to our girls: That the criminal’s first thought is to use the advantage of surprise. Studies tell us that that bad guys are adept at choosing targets who appear to be unaware of what is going on around them. Be aware of your environment and project a “force presence.” Never venture alone. Always have a partner. Best time to do your jaunts is in daylight hours. Carry a spray for protection and a cellphone.
MOSES P. SALDAÑA SR., AUSTIN
President Trump said at his inauguration: “Crime and gangs and drugs … have stolen too many lives … . This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.” Why haven’t you stopped it, President Trump?
Not only “gangs and drugs” cause crime. This mass murder was not perpetrated by an undocumented person, a person of color or a gang member. A cowardly white American man, almost your age, picked off with staccato fire hundreds of people enjoying an evening concert.
You have the power, President Trump, to call for gun control. Measures that would close gun show loopholes, keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and those on the no-fly list, and limit sales of certain guns and ammunition. If you don’t stop this carnage, right here, right now, by working for gun control, then where is your heart, President Trump? Or are you a coward, too?
TRACIE STORIE, ROUND ROCK
Pro-gun advocates will have plenty to say in response to the Las Vegas shootings. I’ll help save time and ink by putting all their arguments in one place.
• We shouldn’t talk about gun safety right after such a tragedy. It’s a sin to exploit people’s grief for political purposes. We should wait a decade or so before starting to talk about preventing these tragedies.
• If someone in the festival crowd had a machine gun or rocket-propelled grenade or tank, many lives would have been saved. We need more guns in public places.
• The shootings weren’t all that bad, but liberal media is trying to spin up anti-gun hysteria.
• It is so important that we protect our God-given right to own any kind of weapon imaginable that we have to tolerate a few mass shootings like this. It’s a small price for the victims to pay.
DAVID DOMELSMITH, TEMPLE
Open letter to U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz, John Cornyn and other senators:
I am a disabled former registered nurse and two-time cancer survivor. I’m currently living with a brain tumor and an autoimmune disease. I spent decades caring for people with contagious, chronic or terminal illnesses. I saw many of these patients improve while hospitalized — only to see them repeatedly return to the emergency room because they could not afford their medications, co-pays or even gas money to get to their appointments. So, I know how critical affordable comprehensive health insurance and access to care is to a person.
My nursing experience and personal health battles have given me a unique perspective on the state of our current health care. Although our health care system is currently struggling, it is repairable. I urge you to develop single-payer Medicare for all Americans. A healthy population will ensure America’s greatness.
STACY MOORE, ARLINGTON
Women rarely commit mass murder, yet men are doing it at horrific rates. Do we know why this is? Is anyone working on this problem from a gender perspective? Whatever the cure to solving this problem is, the stark disparity between women and men committing these atrocities appears to be key.
If we refuse to recognize the gender disparity in the killings for fear of being viewed as sexist, we may never find a solution. We clearly have a man-violence problem — and we need to fix it now. Wringing our hands and lamenting the killings doesn’t seem to be working.
SUSAN KOLBLY, SUNSET VALLEY