No sense at all
An open letter to our legislators:
Many issues you deal with every day are not easily discernable, but semi-automatic assault weapons in the hands of civilians makes no sense at all. Make stricter gun laws.
Do not turn your back on us. Listen. Listen to the cries of your constituents and boldly resist the squeeze of the National Rifle Association. You know well they are profiting in the face of our nation’s tragedies. It is unconscionable.
Pass legislation that will keep semi automatic assault weapons out of the hands of civilians.
Mary U. Andrews
Rebuilding the world
Last Sunday’s brutal act of terror in Orlando shocked many of us to the core, leaving fear, anxiety, and anger from which we will be reeling for a long time to come. We join with so many others offering our thoughts and prayers to the victims of this horrific attack, their heartbroken families, and the first-responders who helped bring relief to so many others.
But we also know that our thoughts and prayers will only go so far, as perhaps the most shocking element is the frequency with which events such as this continue to happen. Access to guns continues to proliferate unabated. And while mass shootings dominate the headlines, the despicable scourge of gun violence is most frequently demonstrated in much smaller-scale events, those in homes, movie theaters, street corners, and schools. The commonness of these events can make us inured to them, but we must remain vigilant. We must continue working and advocating towards the decrease in gun violence, especially in those communities which are the hardest hit.
Sunday’s attack also demonstrated what happens when fear, anger, and hate not only continue, but prosper without check. The type of hate that drives someone to do this horrendous act is fed by things like North Carolina’s House Bill 2, which we strongly oppose and will continue to fight to undo.
We stand in true solidarity with our friends and loved ones in the LGBT community, and those within other communities whose voices and faces are continuously ignored and silenced at best, and snuffed out at worst. We must use this attack as a clarion call to amplify the voices of those most marginalized within our society and we should not respond to this event by perpetuating hate against our Muslim brothers and sisters. We must continue to move forward together, and not one step back.
The Pirke Avot, the chapters of rabbinic texts known as the Ethics of Our Ancestors reminds us that it is not our task to finish the work (of rebuilding the world], but we are not free to desist from it. In this time of great grief and mourning, we cannot lose sight of the incredible task of crafting a world that is safer, more just, and more open for all, rallying that all people are seen, heard, and loved for the spark of the divine within each of them.
Rabbi Ari Naveh
on behalf of Carolina Jews for Justice
Editor’s Note: The following letter was sent to Orlando Mayor Teresa Jacobs and is printed here at the Orange County Board of Commissioners’ request
Letter from Orange County, North Carolina, to Orange County, Florida:
To our friends, colleagues and extended family in Orange County, Florida, from the Board of County Commissioners in Orange County, North Carolina, we offer our sincere condolences to the families in Orlando who are suffering dearly from the terror attack at Pulse Nightclub.
This shocking event reminds us to treasure the equality and openness for which we must continually strive. From all of us in North Carolina’s Orange County, including our towns of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough and Mebane, our hearts go out to the injured, the victimized and everyone who loves them.
The anguish of the residents of Orange County, Florida, is shared by all of us in Orange County, North Carolina, and especially those in the LGBTQ community, and may also carry special pain for those in our community who are Muslim, Latino or people of color, as well as those with ties to Orlando.
We remain on hand to help in any way we can, including offering a prayer for peace for all as we walk a path of hope together.
In sorrow and solidarity,
Mia Burroughs, County Commissioner
Renee A. Price, County Commissioner
Earl McKee, Chair, County Commissioner
Mark Dorosin, Vice Chair, County Commissioner
Barry Jacobs, County Commissioner
Penny Rich, County Commissioner
Bernadette Pelissier, County Commissioner
Kudos to Cooper
Anderson Cooper, in his show on Monday, gave a tribute to the 49 victims of the Orlando gay nightclub shooting. This hits close to home for him, because he is openly gay.
He gave a short biography of each victim, but refused to give the name of the shooter or show his picture. Kudos to Cooper for this!
Shooters and mass murders want recognition. They are so much smarter than the sensation-seeking media, because the media always gives them their desired publicity! If the shooter had not been killed, he would have been incarcerated, gotten even more publicity in a court trial, and could even have written a book for which he would probably have received a handsome advance royalty!
As a result, he would have been satisfied with being remembered as the one who gunned down the most people in history ... until someone else comes along to better his record!
Monsters like this should not be given the recognition they seek, but their names and photos should not be publicized. The more heinous the crime, the bigger the rewards. No wonder there are so many atrocities committed now.
Restricted for a reason
Regarding Lee Storrow’s My View column, “Orlando, HB2, blood donations: LGBTQ people remain the ‘other’” (CHN, June 15):
Blood donations are restricted if you have traveled overseas, received certain vacines, use illegal drugs and a plethora of other reasons. These restrictions are in place to protect the ill and recovering individual.
According to http://hivinsite.ucsf.edu/ the risk of HIV transfusion through infected blood products exceeds that of any other risk exposure. Ninety-five percent of recipients transfused with HIV antibody-positive blood are found to be HIV infected at follow-up. As of December 2001, an estimated 14,262 persons have been diagnosed with AIDS as a result of transfusing contaminated blood or blood products.
Until blood is screened effectively these precauctions are in place to protect everyone and are not an attack on the LGBTQ community.
Zika and malaria
Apropos of the emergency need for research funding to confront the threat of Zika carrying mosquitoes that David Price has lectured and written about (DN, June 12)), we might recall how a comparable problem was dealt with during World War II.
To meet the threat of malaria to our soldiers from these same mosquitoes, Roosevelt’s White House organized the Office of Scientific Research and Development. This organization, was “an umbrella organization that oversaw all war-related, science-based work, including the Manhattan Project. OSRD was a unit of President Roosevelt’s Office of Emergency Management.” I am quoting here from Karen Masterson’s excellent book, ‘The Malaria Project’ (New York: Penquin, 2014), p. 159, which documents the fight to battle malaria, how it was done, and what the results were. The needed funding was found then for the Manhattan Project and for the Malaria Project.
We have been down this road before. We must find a way now.
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