Letters to the Editor

10/16 Letters: No need to ‘avoid people to avoid harming them’

Regarding “Paltrow, Jolie join flood of allegations against Weinstein” (Oct. 11): People say the publicity of the Harvey Weinstein sexual assaults scandal will deter men in positions of power from mentoring or meeting alone with women in order to avoid similar accusations. This same “logic” was used in the argument that police shootings of African-Americans will deter police from fighting crime (i.e. doing their jobs).

These responses are problematic because they are meant to intimidate victims from demanding justice by implying that holding wrongdoers accountable will deter good people from doing their jobs and helping others. These responses also overlook the poor choices made by the person in power and blame the victim. Most men are able to meet with women privately without sexually assaulting them, and most police officers are able to effectively fight crime without shooting people.

The response to a scandal is not to be childish and quit the game just because there are rules to follow. To avoid a scandal, people in positions of power should be professional enough to do their jobs without sexually assaulting or unnecessarily killing anyone. With a foundation of respect for all people as fellow human beings, one will not need to avoid people in order to avoid harming them.

Sera Arcaro


Gun control needed

Regarding “Who is Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock?” (Oct. 2): In considering causes of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, one might question the mental health of the shooter – some major financial loss, bad news about his health, his attitudes abut the type of music being played, or other factors. There is little or nothing we can do about many such causes, but there is one cause that obviously contributed to this tragedy and that we can control: the easy availability of guns, even assault rifles designed for military use.

While many people enjoy shooting guns, including the rapid-fire assault rifles, one must question whether that enjoyment is worth the profound suffering brought to hundreds of people by yet another mass shooting. It’s high time that we discussed sensible laws regarding access by the general public to guns, and especially assault rifles. The Constitution’s 2nd Amendment doesn’t mean that we must allow military weapons in the hands of non-military personnel any more than it means we must allow atomic bombs in their hands. It’s sad that the NRA – first established to teach safe gun handling to youth – has come to lobby against societal control of guns (even silencers), perhaps because it gets money for every gun sold.

Robert P. Hawkins, Ph.D.