Letters to the Editor

James Collins: Extend vet treatment to poor

Regarding the Nov. 13 news article “ State expanding veterans treatment court”: Gov. Pat McCrory has proposed the creation of a special court for veterans. Apparently the idea is that we need to be especially cognizant of, and empathetic to, the traumas that returning veterans have faced and take it into account when they commit crimes. Instead of just locking veterans away, the special court would recommend rehabilitation and other measures to help them reintegrate better into society.

I applaud the idea of recognizing the traumas that people have experienced. However, this approach should be extended beyond veterans.

In our community are thousands of people who have never known the feeling of comfort and security provided by an income that exceeds the poverty level. If we think a veteran has committed a crime as a result of a wartime trauma, how much more likely is it that a person has committed a crime due to a lifetime of poverty? A poverty that is the inevitable result of our system of government and economics and that will become more widespread as the state government shifts more burdens from the rich onto the poor.

We should extend our recognition of, and empathy for, their circumstances along with those of returning veterans.

James Collins