There is only one effective way to end gun violence (Opinion)

Gun Rights

Regarding “Tennessee Legislature wraps up; will reconvene on gun reform,” (April 21): The governor of Tennessee announced he would call a special session of the Tennessee Legislature to consider a highly diluted effort at a red-flag law because a woman who was a friend of his wife was killed in the Covenant School shooting in Nashville.

Must we wait until every politician in the U.S. has personally lost a child or relative or close friend in a shooting at a school, a supermarket, a house of worship, a dance studio, a nightclub, a restaurant, a workplace, a front porch, a suburban lawn, a parking lot or on a freeway to finally win gun reform? How many more hundreds of thousands of Americans must die before this happens? If one of our political leaders in Austin lost a child to a shooting tomorrow, would it even make any difference?

There is only one effective way to finally bring this scourge of gun violence to an end. We must rid ourselves at long last of all the politicians who have been owned by the NRA for so long, they simply cannot find their way back to any level of common sense or compassion.

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Patricia Bernstein, Bellaire

Regarding “Cheerleader shooting shows nowhere is safe. Can our fear bring change? (Editorial),” (April 20): Look at the spate of shootings where teens accidentally knock on the wrong door, turn in the wrong driveway or mistake a similar car as their own and get shot. The gun advocates’ claim that “a well-armed society is a polite society” is clearly and tragically false. Also, the role of the media, especially the sensationalist local television coverage of shootings, plants and enhances fear of strangers and the resulting impulse to reach for a gun.  

Stephen Powe, Houston

Public versus school library

Regarding “Book banning is so quaint in today’s internet age (Opinion),” (April 23): Mr. Lind refers to public libraries when he speaks of the so-called book banning being proposed by the state Legislature. He leaves out a very important keyword the bill is addressing: school. The general public library, like the internet, is very different from a school library. As a parent, I decide if and when my kid goes to the public library, and I can supervise what books they are looking at. Additionally, when it comes to the internet, I can install all sorts of blockers and filters that prevent my children from accessing inappropriate material. 

At the public school libraries there aren’t necessarily such filters or parental guidance. Parents are left to the whims of the administration who determine what might be appropriate for children at a certain age to view and check out.

There’s a difference between outright banning and filtering for age-appropriate material. Would those complaining of these so-called bans be OK with no internet filters on computers third graders are using? This issue is not about government censorship or book banning, but more about age-appropriate material for our children.

Tim Graney, Katy

Good investment

Regarding “Taylor: Questionable philanthropy — Why $35M gift to Alamo Colleges means more than $300M to Harvard,” (April 23): I really appreciate the discussion by Michael Taylor in Smart Money. I agree with him. I have had the opportunity to teach college students here in Houston. They go to community college to get as many credits as possible at lower prices before going to four-year school. To reduce costs, many live at home, and most have at least one job in order to pay for their education.

I had one student whose family was homeless after Harvey, yet she worked to get her college education, did not miss one class, assignment or test. These students work during college breaks; they don’t travel to have parties in other places or live in fancy housing. To me these students are going to be our most outstanding citizens. I continue to admire them and support funding education that helps these folks. 

My family provided a scholarship for students at a local community college because they felt that it was a good investment in our community, as MacKenzie Scott has done at a much higher financial level. These students are our future, and we should provide them opportunities to enable that.

Helen W. Lane, Houston

In denial

Regarding “Mattress Mack blasts Harris County as ‘besieged by criminals’ as he pushes for election records,” (April 18): Business owners and politicians who would rather spread lies than admit electoral defeat would do well to heed the advice of a certain basketball shoe salesman. To paraphrase Michael Jordan who once said “Republicans buy sneakers, too,” well, Democrats buy mattresses and pillows, too. And they vote.

Camille Nelson, Houston

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