Printed Letters: October 13, 2017
Protesting is more than a right, it is a civic duty
Protesting is more than a right, it is a civic duty, and can even be an act of sacrificial love. To those who condemn protest, please consider that the right to protest was purchased with the blood and sacrifice of many.
Not only soldiers — but also the blood or sacrifice of civil rights martyrs like MLK, lynching victims, and yes, even a quarterback who had already made his fame and fortune in the NFL yet was willing to risk it all by taking a stand (ironically) by kneeling, in a selfless attempt to help others.
The ultimate protester of all time, Jesus Christ, was crucified shortly after, and largely because of, his protests against temple money changers, against empire on Palm Sunday, and against ethnic supremacists when he dared to compare their lack of compassion with the compassion of The Good Samaritan or in our day The Good Quarterback.
Some countries don’t have a “protest problem” ... North Korea, Nazi Germany, Putin’s Russia, and if some have their way, the future U.S.A. The peaceful protest of a compassionate citizen is a worthy bookend to the sacrifice of a soldier, and America at its best honors both. Now stand (or kneel) with me and sing the national anthem, but not if you have a hateful heart.
H.R. 3990 could cripple authority of Antiquities Act
I oppose H.R. 3990. On Wednesday Oct. 11, Rep. Rob Bishop, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, held a full committee markup of his anti-conservation, anti-sportsmen, anti-science bill (H.R. 3990) that would potentially cripple the authority of the Antiquities Act.
The Antiquities Act is responsible for nearly 50 percent of all national parks giving rise to such designations as the Grand Canyon, Devil’s Tower and Muir Woods. This bill would drastically narrow the definition of what is deserving of protection to just fossils, skeletons, artifacts and buildings — ruling out science, geography (the Colorado National Monument for example), wildlife or other natural objects. It would prohibit national monuments to protect oceans, and give presidents the authority to erase vast portions of existing national monuments.
The statistics on guns are irrelevant to the argument
Sean Goodbody’s column of Oct. 11 deserves a response. All of his statistics are no doubt true, but they are irrelevant to the argument. The discussion needs to be about why we have what seems to be an increase in violence involving guns, and I use “seems to be” advisedly since there is reliable information that gun violence nationally is actually down (another irrelevant statistic).
The fact is that guns per se do not kill people. A gun is simply a tool, and like any tool can be used properly or dangerously depending on the skill of the user. In the case of guns they can be used for good as well as evil depending on the intent of the user.
What the conversation needs to be about is what has gone wrong with our culture that produces so many unbalanced individuals that they take a tool such as a gun, crowbar, tire iron, baseball bat, truck, homemade bomb, or whatever, and deliberately murder other people. The problem is the culture not the guns, and until the culture is corrected all the gun laws in the world will not make any difference in the mayhem.
City Council should rename 12th Street, not North Avenue
On Tuesday, as I drove up 12th Street, stopping at every pedestrian crosswalk between North Avenue and Orchard Avenue for our dear CMU students, it was clear to me that if the City Council wants to name a street, let them name 12th Street “University Boulevard.” The students already own it, and North Avenue already has a name.
We must control how people get hands on drugs, not guns
I am writing this in response to a column by Mr. Goodbody. I did some brief checking of stats that he reported. I am not for gun control when it means taking away the rights of law-abiding citizens. We have a higher death rate from drug use/abuse than from firearms. Don’t we have a war on drugs? Isn’t opioid use illegal unless prescribed? Statistics can be interpreted or mis-interpreted for anyone to use to try to make a point. My point? Hmm, you decide.
Remember that these deaths that you have reported are per 100,000 persons. What I found on the website Goodbody referenced: In 2016, there were 11,008 firearm homicides. During 2015, drug overdoses accounted for 52,404 U.S. deaths, including 33,091 (63.1 percent) that involved an opioid.
I have heard the same old story; “We must control how people get their hands on guns.” What about “We must control how people get their hands on drugs?”
CHRISTOPHER A. MENZIES