We live in a culture where life is devalued

As I read Jim Spehar’s Aug. 7 column, it reminded me that I, too, have grandchildren of various ages trying to make sense of this world. I then reminded myself that we are all still very lucky to live in this country at this time and no matter what is going on here it is still the best place to be on this planet.

Here are my random thoughts on Mr. Spehar’s random thoughts on how to deal with the actions of a few disturbed individuals, in a country of 327 million people, who carry out these deadly mass shootings and gun violence.

When it comes to military style weapons and large capacity magazines Mr. Spehar believes that we should “keep that shit on the battlefield” and not bring them into our communities. Well there are millions of those types of weapons with large capacity magazines that are legally owned by millions of American citizens which weren’t used those days. When there is an automobile accident, do we blame the driver, or do we blame the automobile?

Mr. Spehar then glosses over the effect that violent video games, movies, and music have on our culture, but I would like to know what specific law in his list would have prevented these tragedies? How many unborn babies are killed every day in this country? How many video games are there where points are scored by killing something? The left is trying to take “God” out of our country. We are a culture where life is devalued. This weekend while the media was focused on the shootings in Dayton and El Paso, seven people were killed and 52 wounded in Chicago. Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. How’s that working out? Where is Mr. Spehar’s columns when events like in Chicago happen?

Why doesn’t Mr. Spehar comment as to the violence in Chicago, Baltimore, and any other bastion of progressivism on any weekend? Could it be that these places are all run by Democrats?

Yes, someone’s Aunt Tally died unnecessarily and sadly a few days ago in Gilroy, El Paso, Dayton, Chicago or Baltimore. Criminals by their very nature don’t follow laws, so passing more laws, as we see in Chicago and other places, doesn’t seem to work. Who’s to blame? I don’t think Mr. Spehar will like the answer.


Grand Junction

In Trump’s America, compassion is a dirty word

I worry about what our country will look like if we have four more years of Trump. I worry even about another year-plus of Trump’s presidency combined with a full-on Trump campaign.

Hate crimes are on the rise, as are mass shootings, and these events are becoming more deadly. Trump mines divisions in our country and demonizes people who look different than he does. His campaign describes our southern border as an “invasion,” meant to connote a hostile takeover of our country by a foreign enemy. White nationalists interpret Trump’s words as support for their cause and even as a call to action. In this environment, it is not only recent immigrants whose lives are endangered, but all people of color. And really, all Americans, because mass hate crimes are rarely confined to their intended targets.

Trump promotes a win-at-all-costs environment in which those who disagree with him are losers. People who believe in compassionate immigration reform are cast as calling for open borders. People who care about providing health care for vulnerable Americans are cast as crazy socialists. People who express their concern about the direction of our country are cast as “hating America.”

In Trump’s America, compassion, it seems, is a dirty word.

Let’s bring compassion back. Compassion doesn’t mean open borders, but it does mean treating people humanely. It means looking for ways to help people remain safely and thrive in their countries. Compassion doesn’t mean we all agree on everything, but it does mean that differences are expressed respectfully as facts and not as personal attacks based on physical characteristics or as physical violence. Compassion doesn’t mean we all love one another but it does mean we coexist peacefully in this country we all call home.

Let’s call out hatred when we see it. Let’s insist on measures that promote compassion and punish hate. And let’s elect decent leaders who care more about what’s right for people than they do about the party line.



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