Letters to the Editor

8/13 Letters: Lawmakers could use red flag law to strip unsuspecting citizens of their rights

No to red flag law

I equate the newly proposed red flag law with a skillfully crafted, stainless steel butcher knife.

If put in the hands of a world-renowned chef, it could be used to carve meats with precision and slice vegetables into a glorious melody. However, if put on a cafeteria table in an insane asylum, the effects could be harmful, hurting the innocent and maiming the unsuspecting.

It’s not that I don’t trust the knife, it’s that I’m wary of the hands that hold it.

It’s not that I don’t like the proposed red flag law. It’s that I don’t trust lawmakers, present and future, who may use it to strip unsuspecting citizens of their constitutional rights, not because of mental instability or dangerous rhetoric, but because of their political viewpoints, skin color, or religious affiliation.

Immanuel Jarvis, Durham

Chairman, Durham County Republican Party

Background checks

Sen. John Barrasso said late last week that he was opposed to background checks because “I don’t want to punish law-abiding citizens.”

The man that massacred 22 innocent people and put bullet holes in 26 more in El Paso was a law-abiding citizen. My guess is that if Barrasso had a grandchild who was killed at Sandy Hook, he wouldn’t feel that way.

U.S. citizens are being slaughtered. Would you like your fiddle now or later, Nero?

Tom Rouse, Raleigh

Even cats register

Adding to the list of things that are more difficult to do than buying a gun in the USA today, I note that even our rather inefficient, very occasional mouse-killer cat must register with Orange County Animal Control. She must also show that she’s been vaccinated against rabies. And she, or her deluded owner, must pay a tax. Then, she can go on her cat-like way.

R.A. Haskell, Chapel Hill

Impeachment plan

I realize that a big part of the resistance to impeaching Trump is that it would be futile because the supine Senate would never provide the 67 votes needed to get rid of this abomination of a president. And then Trump would simply say “I was acquitted by the Senate,” which would be a powerful campaign mantra.

However, since the House would control the timing of this issue, it could simply drag out the impeachment process up to Nov. 4, 2020. There are those who’d say this is too devious so I consulted the “king of devious”, Niccolò Machiavelli, and he gave me a big thumbs up.

Dan DiPerna, Raleigh

NCAA reform

Regarding “NCAA board drops proposed academic fraud bylaw reform,” (Aug. 10):

This non-action spells the end of the NCAA as a legitimate overseer of college athletics.

It simply cannot, or will not, stand up to the larger conferences and schools.

To learn that N.C. State’s new athletic director, has such temerity makes me sad for our public universities. It kills any hopes I might still harbor for them to practice strict self-policing.

Add this unwillingness to practice oversight to the cash tsunami new TV contracts are providing and you have a toxic mixture that will eventually kill amateur intercollegiate athletics. Maybe it already has.

Rev. Charles Smith, Washington, NC

Duke Trustee emeritus

Help small towns

Regarding “State takes control of town drowning in sewage bills,” (Aug. 9):

It is a sad state when the stewardship of our small towns is left to fail by the legislature.

When Marc Basnight was leader of the N.C. Senate, he led the way to helping these small communities which don’t have the tax base to maintain their sewer and water systems.

The Democratic legislature passed the Clean Water Management Trust Fund of $100 million annually in the N.C. budget to help these small communities bring their systems up to standards so they could provide safe water and sewer delivery to residents.

Sadly, the Republican legislatureslashed the program and towns like Eureka are suffering from that neglect.

Eleanor Kinnaird, Chapel Hill

NC senator, 1997-2013

Ban Styrofoam

There is no time like August to take a trip to N.C.’s beautiful beaches. However, these beaches and the wildlife that depend on them are at risk.

Single-use plastics, particularly Styrofoam, is a major cause of this.

Every year Americans throw away over 25 billion foam cups, which pollute our water ways and harm our wildlife. Styrofoam doesn’t break down, so every single one of those 25 billion cups will remain in our environment for years to come.

Gov. Roy Cooper has protected our precious coastlines by standing up against off-shore drilling and advocating for clean energy. Now I am asking him to implement a statewide ban on foam cups and containers.

Katie Craig, Durham