We can ensure gun rights and make ourselves safer

The AR-15 and similar assault-style rifles have been the guns of choice for domestic mass shootings.
The AR-15 and similar assault-style rifles have been the guns of choice for domestic mass shootings. AP

I dropped my 6 year old off at school the morning after the Thousand Oaks shooting. I wasn’t thinking about what he would learn or eat for lunch. I was thinking about how a shooter might access his classroom, where he could hide, and that I need to make sure my last words to him are “I love you.”

We have had 307 mass shootings this year in the U.S. That is 307 too many. We must enact common sense gun legislation in our country. I respect the Second Amendment, and we can ensure both the right to own guns and be safe in our schools and gathering places.

We could: 1) require background checks on all gun purchasers; 2) license firearm owners; 3) register firearms; 4) regulate firearms dealers and ammunition sellers; 5) require the reporting of lost or stolen firearms; 6) impose a waiting period before the sale of a firearm; and 7) limit firearm purchases to one per person every 90 days.

Katie Sonnen-Lee


Step therapy

U.S. Rep. George Holding took a bold step in support of vulnerable elderly and disabled patients in North Carolina. He called on the Trump administration to halt its plan to move forward with a dangerous policy for patients in private Medicare Advantage plans.

The policy is known as “step therapy.” It limits the medical treatments that patients can receive. The new policy would have dire consequences for some of North Carolina’s sickest Medicare patients.

Step therapy forces patients to begin treatment with a drug mandated by the insurance company. Physicians can only move patients to the treatment recommended by their doctor if the initial treatment fails – even if the doctor believes a different choice would be more effective for the patient. The Trump administration is allowing Medicare Advantage plans to adopt step therapy, beginning Jan. 1.

By opposing step therapy, Rep. Holding is setting aside party politics to side with North Carolina’s patients. We applaud this stance, because as ophthalmologists, we know that sick patients – especially those facing permanent blindness – don’t have the time for wait-and-see treatment policies. We urge others in Congress to join Rep. Holding in supporting patients over politics.

Kathleen G. Gordon, MD

President, NC Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons

NC tech jobs

“Best place to find US technology jobs? NC” (Nov. 2) by John Hood is an example of how clever spin can turn any news into support for a partisan perspective. Hood cites a technology trade association study that gives high marks to certain N.C. cities for the availability and future growth of technology jobs. Hood credits our conservative state government for reducing the cost of government, reducing taxes, and eliminating regulations.

Curiously, the cities cited by the study are Charlotte, Raleigh, and Durham-Chapel Hill. For cost of living, these cities rank among the most expensive in North Carolina. They are not low-cost and certainly not conservative.

This would argue that what attracts technology companies is not low cost so much as it is the kinds of things that appeal to young people wishing for careers in technology—a fun place to live and raise a family. This entails good schools and quality of life— arts and entertainment, restaurants, diversity, public spaces, music and sporting events, etc. The communities in our state that are the most successful at providing technology jobs are also our state’s most progressive communities, not our state’s most conservative.

John May

Chapel Hill

Tax exemptions

As a retailer, I just received my latest iteration of the ever-changing sales tax code. There’s a new exemption: “A charge for lifetime seat rights, lease, or rental of a suite or box for an entertainment activity.” Not being a lawyer, the sales tax codes are never crystal clear, but I read that as the schlubs in the nosebleeds pay sales tax, the rich guys in the suites are exempt.

Eric Jensen


What celebrity?

Your headline, “White House suspends CNN’s Acosta after Trump confrontation,” Nov. 7, is under the heading “Celebrities.” Just who is the celebrity you are referring to? I presume the N&O must be referring to our reality TV president and not the journalist who was doing his work get to the truth. Personally, I think this belonged under a heading of Politics, or Presidential abuse.

L. Reed Kingsley