Rob Schofield’s incisive column (“No need to ask one question,” Oct. 23) decrying gun legislation — or the lack thereof — mentions an oft-rendered defense by firearms enthusiasts and their ilk. The issue, they claim, is not with the abundance of and easy access to firearms that our nation currently “enjoys” but the apparently high incidence of mental illness among us.
While this may or may not be true in any objective sense, what is undeniably true is that there are lots of guns out there and people are dying senselessly due to gun violence. My thoroughly modest proposition is that we take sensible legislative steps to allay this profusion of gun accessibility among the ostensibly “sick” members of our society, all the while addressing these presumptive mental health concerns.
This citizen is thoroughly disgusted with hearing about how “guns don’t kill people; people kill people” every time a lone member of our society with a thoroughly solipsistic lament is able to turn his grievance into a communal slaughter at the twitch of a finger.
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The nuclear trigger
The nightmare of nuclear destruction hangs over Ukraine and everyone, unless we heed Einstein’s warning: “The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.”
However, in the U.S., the Pentagon expands and the State Department shrinks; militarism blocks diplomacy. Both Biden and Putin say a nuclear war cannot be won, but their nuclear stockpiles, nuclear war games and veiled threats suggest they are trapped in old thinking. Weapons are on hair-trigger alert, automated to respond. Rhetoric is ratcheted up.
When we faced a nuclear standoff during the Cuban Missile Crisis, 60 years ago this month, compromise saved us. Missiles left both Cuba and Turkey.
Since the possibility is humanity’s suicide, we must get our weapons off hair-trigger alert and stop suggesting that Armageddon, nuclear revenge, is inevitable. Pressing for a ceasefire and negotiations in Ukraine will mean compromise, but a settlement is better than fueling more deaths, destruction, hunger and nuclear risk.
Pressuring the nine nuclear powers to join 159 nations in signing the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons would end the nuclear nightmare and perhaps lead us away from using war to problem-solve.
Hoping for sanity
The amount of hate coming out of the Republican Party is troubling. Cries by its leaders for government overthrow, antisemitism and misogyny are accompanied by silence from their followers.
Republican majorities in Congress have voted against a women’s right to contraception and, ironically, against a woman’s right to abortion to save her life. While speaking for human embryos, the Republican majority opposes “red flag” laws to limit gun ownership by sociopaths.
With the planet heating up from fossil fuels, Republicans advocate increasing fuel consumption by catering to OPEC and supporting pipeline subsidies.
The midterm elections will prompt some of us to respond to this nonsense. I hope sanity prevails and our democracy can be saved.
About those ads ...
Republican inflation ads are heinous. They claim liberal spending has caused inflation, totally disregarding the fact that more than 1 million people, or 1 in every 331 Americans, died of COVID-19. Those lives and the millions of others who died in the pandemic mattered; that’s why the entire world is suffering from some degree of inflation. Inflation rates range from 69.97% in Turkey to 17.8% in Russia.
The U.S inflation rate of 8.2%, while high, is relatively low when compared to similar nations. Republicans say they plan to reduce inflation by cutting the increase in WIC programs (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children); cutting or removing Social Security from secure funding and placing it in the yearly budget so they can vote not to fund it or use it to leverage other program cuts; failing to renew Social Security in 2024; or by cutting programs that help working or retired working people. Ted Budd’s record in Congress has shown us who he is: a gun lobbyist’s dream supporter. His pro-life stand ends when the child leaves the womb.
When people show you who they are believe them. Look at his voting record.
Jo Ann Lynn
One of my Sunday afternoon pleasures is working the crossword. I don’t understand why you’ve started publishing the last week’s answers instead of the answers for the current puzzle.
What are we supposed to do, save the paper for a whole week so we can find out the answers to the current puzzle?
I have run into several issues with the News & Record and am considering stopping it altogether. It would be nice if you would revert back to the way the crossword puzzle used to be published.