Letters: On ending gun violence, questionable word choices, and uplifting flowers

Gun Rights

A plea to take action on gun violence

We, the undersigned members of the Johnson County Board of Health support the American Public Health Association statement on gun violence as a public health crisis.

As it said: “In the United States, gun violence is a major public health problem and a leading cause of premature death. Preventing death, disability and injury from gun violence requires a public health approach that involves data collection and surveillance, research to understand which policies and programs are effective in decreasing gun violence, initiatives to implement those measures that are shown to work and continued surveillance and evaluation.”

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In the U.S., gun deaths are vastly higher than that of other large, high-income countries. However, we have done little to try to make things better. Legislators have cut money for research into ways to decrease gun violence and then complain we have no research about gun violence. This also keeps the public from being told about the risks. There are commonsense policies that help prevent gun death and injury all communities need to use.

These include:

  • Background checks for all purchases including gun shows and the internet.
  • Classes and licensing help, and the NRA classes are good.
  • Restart the federal ban on assault weapons.
  • Federal ban on high-capacity magazines.
  • Extreme Risk Protection Orders.

Make no mistake, gun violence is preventable and not inevitable. Much like other public health issues, we need to understand the basic but complex causes. It requires research to give us the evidence for making good decisions. We cannot be resigned to allow this bloodshed, in all its forms, to continue to plague our communities. We all want to be safe where we live, work, learn, play and pray.

Gun violence can be prevented through a wide-ranging public health approach that will keep families, communities and the citizens of the U.S. safe.

-Peter D. Wallace, Bonnie Rubin, Joni Bosch, Melanie Wellington

Surprise lilies uplift her spirit

I would like to thank the person/s who planted surprise lilies along the banks of the creek flowing through Court Hill Park on Friendship Street. Those blossoms uplift my spirit each time I pass. Thank you.

-Ruth Fisher, Iowa City

It does not compute

Iowans are “salt of the earth, wholesome, friendly and hard-working. They represent people of good character,” stated Lone Tree native and U.S. Navy Capt. Doug Langenberg in a recent news article (Wednesday Press-Citizen). 

Or do Iowans have “drag shows for young kids,” stock “pornographic books for young kids,” and have “elementary school lessons on pronouns?” These words are a description of Iowans by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds. Both articles were on the same page of the news!

Which is it? Are you, and the Iowans you know, wholesome? Or pornography pushers?  What about your child’s teacher(s)? Your librarians? They are Iowans.

To think both ways does not compute. Do you prefer to build up or tear down? Do you prefer to handle defined problems on an individual basis or make broad, negative assumptions about other Iowans? 

I cannot ever vote for a governor (or legislator) who works so hard to tear down by innuendo all of the wholesome and hard-working Iowans who staff our public schools and libraries.

-Susan Wakefield, Iowa City

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