Letters to the Editor

2/25 Letters: ‘Guns are just the tools,’ focus on the ‘reasons’ behind mass shootings

Regarding “17 dead in school shooting in Florida; suspect, 19, arrested” (Feb. 15): School shootings have so many reasons on which to cast blame other than just the easy purchase of “assault style” weapons. These weapons have been available for decades, but since the Columbine shooting in 1999 these incidents have become way too frequent. Our society has been creating the conditions for these shootings years before Columbine occurred.

Too many children are being raised by one-parent families, playing violent and disrespectful video games, watching violent and disrespectful television shows and movies and listening to violent and disrespectful music. Parents are not teaching their children to have respect for their teachers (or police, but that’s another story). Social media is replacing personal human contact. The current “I can do anything and everything I want to” attitude and our consideration of others is being thrown out the window.

Most importantly, as we are currently reflecting on the life of Reverend Billy Graham, is the removal of God and religion from our lives and the mocking of those of who do believe. The guns are just the tools. We must eliminate the reasons for someone wanting to use them, make sure they do not fall into the wrong hands, and provide security at our schools.

Russell Catania


NCAA ruling

Regaring “Louisville’s 2013 national title stricken from history as NCAA denies appeal” (Feb. 21): In these days of fake news and alternative facts I want to make sure I have the information correct.

Louisville had a national championship taken away because some of their basketball players received impermissible benefits of a “salacious nature”. The folks over in Chapel Hill cheated for a couple of decades and helped student athletes stay eligible through no-work classes but the NCAA just winks.

Maybe the folks in Louisville should have said these ‘benefits’ were available to all students, like those fake classes in Chapel Hill. Former coach Rick Pitino is right. Louisville should sue, but my recommendation is to use the lawyers the folks in Chapel Hill used.

Michael Taylor

Emerald Isle

Schooling ‘solution’

Regarding “Instead of ‘fixing’ public schools, address poverty” (Feb. 16): Having become accustomed to conservatives bashing my fellow educators and blaming public schools for every problem in our culture, I was pleasantly surprised when J. Peder Zane’s piece included some kudos for public education and (rightly) pinpointed poverty as a major factor in the daunting challenges facing our schools.

However, he failed to connect some dots; the most obvious being the salubrious effect of a substantial increase in the minimum wage. I have taught many students who rarely have a parent on the premises at home. It doesn’t take a mathematician to see that it takes more than one minimum-wage job to keep the proverbial wolf from the door, so countless parents face the heartbreaking choice between food on the table and being present in their children’s lives.

Parents working two or three minimum-wage jobs are simply not present to counsel, to instill values, to listen; much less to see that time for homework and sleep are safeguarded. The result is yet another generation lacking the skills and values to do any better for their own children. Raising the minimum wage will, in many families, enable one or both parents to spend more time helping their children prepare for a future that will include opportunities for something better than hardscrabble survival.

Thanks, Mr. Zane, for highlighting the problem. Now, how about getting behind a possible solution?

Christian Rothwell


NRA ‘irony’

Regarding “Frustration grows as Congress fails to act on gun legislation” (Feb. 16): The real irony in this whole gun control debate is that in the early 60s when the AR (M-16) was introduced the NRA came out against it. In those days they were serving their original purpose, to promote marksmanship and innovation in firearms development.

Their arguments were that it was chambered for a 3rd-rate round, it was poorly designed, and it was cheap and flimsy. All of which are still valid. It is a shame that now the NRA has become nothing more than a marketing tool for the gun industry.

Thomas B. Gunshinan