Letters to the Editor

Gun manufacturers have caused an epidemic too

This file photo shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt.
This file photo shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. AP

Guns kill too

How is it that attorneys general will sue pharmaceutical companies for producing OxyContin and not sue gun manufacturers for producing guns?

Stein joins other attorneys general in suing OxyContin developer” (May 17) asserts that there were more than 13,000 deaths in NC since 1999. I submit there have been more deaths as a result of guns. In 2016 there were over 1,400 deaths relating to guns.

OxyContin has a useful purpose – to reduce pain. Guns have only one use – to kill.

Lloyd Brewer


‘Symbolic act’

Regarding “State legislature warily begins security checks” (May 14): It is hard not to note the irony that the heavily gerrymandered N.C. legislators, who support few restrictions on gun ownership, are now very concerned for their safety.

Also, these alleged upholders of personal rights will now further discourage public access for the unrepresented to the people’s House and must bring in more law enforcement to make sure the legislators are protected.

This all began when the Tea Party came to power and tore out and covered over the many doorways to public seating, a really symbolic act.

Jesse Kaufmann


Increase food aid

Regarding “House defeats farm bill as conservatives revolt” (May 18): An increase in the government budget for food aid could help end world hunger. Hundreds of millions of people around the world are faced with food shortages and nutritional deficiencies every day. People in both developed countries and underdeveloped nations share this common problem, and some citizens solely rely on organizations that provide aid, which help ensure their livelihood.

Due to common issues such as underfunded government aid programs, a decreasing population of small farmers due to poverty and highly subsidized agricultural goods, the solution to end world hunger has hit several headwinds. Due to these challenges, providing a solution to these problems has become less attractive to many organizations.

An increase in government funding for nonprofits dedicated to ending world hunger would ultimately lower the amount of people in the world who live without proper nutrition. Government funded programs, such as the food stamps program known as SNAP, have proven to be ineffective because of the low amount of funding they receive. The average person on SNAP receives a rounded $134 a month, or the equivalent of $1.50 a meal.

Mateo DeThomasis

Royal Oak

Blue subsidy?

Regarding “A reckoning is coming for blue states” (May 19): The author is perpetuating a myth about liberals being subsidized by hardworking red states.

Based on 2016 tax and budget data, blue states including New York, most other New England states and California, send more money to the federal government than they receive in federal benefits.

Almost all the “fiscally responsible” Republican red states are subsidized by these liberal, blue states along with Texas. North Carolina normally receives more federal dollars than it sends to the federal government.

Bill Brooks


Climate pact needed

For the three-quarters of Americans who say they are particularly concerned about the environment, “UN votes to take first step toward a global environment pact” (May 10) might offer either hope or despair.

On the one hand, we should applaud the nearly unanimous decision of the international community to move toward establishing a global pact for the environment. But it’s hard not to be disappointed by U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s take on it: “When international bodies attempt to force America into vague environmental commitments, it’s a sure sign that American citizens and businesses will get stuck paying a large bill without getting large benefits.”

If Ambassador Haley doesn’t want the U.S. to be forced into “vague environmental commitments” internationally, it is time to take clear action at the national level. Don’t want to “get stuck paying a large bill without getting large benefits”? How about pushing Congress to enact a carbon fee and dividend plan?

By putting a steadily rising fee on fossil fuel extraction at the source and returning the revenue to all American households, we would drastically reduce carbon emissions while simultaneously providing a stimulus to the U.S. economy and protecting the most vulnerable populations.

Lisa Falk