Letters to the Editor: July 3, 2022

Gun Rights

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Thanks to Press Journal for the good coverage of antisemitic flyers

I appreciate the lengthy coverage the Press Journal provided on June 25, on the antisemitic flyers that were distributed in driveways in many parts of Indian River Country.

Rice-filled plastic bags with flyers scrawled with antisemitic hate-speech-laced conspiracies were left in homeowners’ driveways on June 23. Treasure Coast Newspapers reporter Corey Arwood did a thorough reporting of the incident and how the Indian River County Sheriff’s office is investigating this travesty. I also appreciate IRC Sheriff Eric Flowers turning over several of the flyers to be processed by FBI forensics.

On Aug. 21, 1790, President George Washington wrote a letter to Moses Seixas and the Hebrew congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, condemning the intolerance Jews were experiencing. “For happily the government of the United States,” he wrote, “which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens … May the children of the stock of Abraham, who swell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the goodwill of the other inhabitants.”

Jewish people have been a blessing to our country. Haym Salomon, Jewish and born in Poland, was a Philadelphia-based businessman who was a prime financier of Gen. George Washington’s troops during the American Revolutionary War.

As a Christian, I am aware that the Bible’s Old and New Testaments are very specific that the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are God’s blessed people and all people are blessed who bless them.

Stanford Erickson, Vero Beach

Gov. DeSantis is preempting Florida parents’ healthcare decisions

“We are not going to have any programs where we’re trying to jab six-month-old babies with mRNA. We still have not ordered it. We’re not going to order it.”

That’s Gov. Ron DeSantis forcing the parents of babies in Florida to co-parent with his government.

Did I miss the Moms for Liberty statement condemning DeSantis for taking a healthcare decision out of parents’ hands?

Harvey Glatt, Port St. Lucie

We need to reorder our priorities, not redesign our schools, to save lives

Hours after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, attendees of the National Rifle Association convention in Huston were asked why these tragedies keep occurring. Very astutely, they cited the design of school buildings, a national mental health crisis, and the downfall of religion in America. They are 100% correct.

Sen. Ted Cruz suggested schools should have a single entry point with bulletproof doors and multiple armed police officers, presumably paid for by the NRA. Once a shooter gained entry, there would be no escape, just a turkey shoot. Cruz is a tactical genius.

America suffers an epidemic of mental illness. Mass outbreaks of gun-induced paranoia, -psychosis, -delusions, and -suicidal fantasies are rampant. These disorders are fueled by social media campaigns partly driven by malevolent Russian trolls.

The downfall of religion began before the Americas were discovered. In the 1400s Catholics abandoned Christ’s teachings with Pope Nicholas V’s “Doctrine of Discovery,” which instructed the Portuguese “to reduce [native peoples] to perpetual slavery and to take away all their possessions and property.” The Southern Baptists advanced this revelation, first by embracing slavery and later by perpetuating the lost cause. By abandoning Jesus’ core teaching, “Love thy neighbor,” the religious right has forged a deal with the devil.

Some Catholic and Protestants denominations have separated themselves from society, living in an imaginary gated community, where they alone are entitled to God’s grace. To the NRA-members of this lost tribe, their Golden Calf, the Notorious DJT, spoke, delivering his familiar message of lies, fear, hatred, and persecution.

We need to reorder our priorities, not redesign schools. We need to acknowledge our problems and, working together, find solutions. Let us live the Golden Rule, beat our swords into ploughshares and forge a better, kinder and more loving world.

Ric Stange, Fort Pierce

More: Letters to the Editor: June 30, 2022

The vulnerable children are those who will face the threat of climate change

The Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling is being heralded by pro-life proponents as “protection for the most vulnerable.”

In the decades that follow, today’s youth, along with future children, (including ones who will be born as a result of abortion restrictions) will be subjected to intensifying threats from hurricanes, storm surges, heat waves, droughts and wildfires. For them, vulnerability will be a constant throughout their lives.

As they grow, they’ll likely come to the realization that in spite of decades of warnings about climate change’s ramifications, Florida’s political leaders have done little to try to mitigate the impact of it. Instead, they’ve callously chosen “business as usual” over measures that would serve to protect generations of the 21st century.

Although earlier generations have endured hardships like world wars and economic depression, none have had to confront anything comparable to the existential threat of climate change. The lack of concern from leaders is unconscionable.

Wondering about the linkage between Roe and the climate?

The term “pro-life” explicitly conveys the statement that supporters recognize the sanctity of life. Florida politicians clearly have chosen to disregard climate change because they see it as expedient. If enough Florida pro-lifers reject this mindset with their votes, there still might be time to make a difference.

If this approach seems incongruous, I suggest researching Professor Katharine Hayhoe’s book, “Saving Us.” She’s a Christian climate scientist who profoundly aligns a pro-life stance with concern for the planet.

If abortion opponents are truly pro-life, and not just pro-birth, they’ll acknowledge that they have a moral imperative to mount a campaign every bit as relentless as they did against Roe, demanding decisive, substantive climate legislation. As things now stand, Florida’s vulnerable children are desperately in need of advocates.

Kevin Sullivan, Stuart

I hope all those new Republicans vote against Donald Trump in the future

I read today that one million people have switched to the Republican Party.

As an independent voter, I will take that as a positive sign that one million Republican voters will vote against Donald Trump in the primaries, if he runs.

This to me is the most important issue in the 2024 elections.

For me personally, Liz Cheney would get my vote if she runs.

Mary Oliver, Jensen Beach

Cassidy Hutchinson offered powerful testimony before Jan. 6 committee

“It’s going to be great. He’s going to look powerful.”

That’s what Rudy Giuliani said to White House staffer Cassidy Hutchinson about plans for President Trump’s planned rally on Jan. 6, 2021, after a Jan. 1 meeting he had with Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff. Hutchinson appeared before the Jan. 6 committee last week.

Members of Congress describe her as knowledgeable, hardworking and highly intelligent. Hutchinson, who worked as a personal assistant to Meadows, received excellent reviews for her ability to remain calm in what appeared to most as a cauldron of pressure.

Her account of having told Meadows that it would not look good for him to have gone to the Willard Hotel to meet with Giuliani, John Eastman and other coup plotters was disconcerting. Shouldn’t Meadows have known this himself?

On another occasion, we heard from Hutchinson, Meadows was in his office on the couch scrolling on  his cell phone and didn’t even look up when she advised that it appeared the mob Trump had told to go to the Capitol was about to enter it. 

The information she provided in response to questions posed by the committee showed  to the country that Donald J. Trump had a plan in place which included going up to and doubtless inside the Capitol.

The  president urged thousands who had responded to his plea for them to come to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, saying it was going to be “wild,” to fight like hell to save their country. He urged that the magnetometers be removed, allowing supporters with weapons access to the Ellipse during his address prior to the storming of the Capitol. This, of course, is seen by most as damning evidence that he intended to direct his followers to do whatever necessary to return him to power.

The Jan. 6 committee and its leadership are hitting all the right notes. It is doubtful, however, whether they can find another witness to testify in the fashion of a young staffer who shared her experiences while employed 30 steps away from the Oval Office.

Impressive is not really adequate.

Roy Bickford, Vero Beach

Reisman’s reminder that ‘Character Counts’ is welcome

I wanted to thank Laurence Reisman for his thoughtful June 27 column on civility in public and private life.

It’s a column that won’t garner a big headline, but it’s important to remind us that we all have a responsibility to set a good example to our kids, our colleagues and constituents.

Civility’s decline has fueled rancor and discord on every issue, adding to the  divisiveness in our society. We must do better and a reminder of the “six pillars” of Character Counts is welcomed.

Jean Catchpole, Vero Beach

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