Letters to the Editor, August 15
No overnight cure
It seems that over the past month there have been more murders than usual. Multiple murders have been reported in Durham and nearby counties. While all homicides are of concern, several of these recent events are especially disturbing as they involve young children, teens and young adults.
As the zipper closes on a body bag, there is no way to know the potential our community or the world is losing. Many of these rubber bags seal the fate of a young life that once held great potential; often undeveloped but now for certain gone forever. The bag does a great job of concealing the deceased, but it does not seal the pain and anguish of family and friends.
Preventing violence and the related killings is far more complex than just crime-prevention techniques. It involves real behavior changes in people. Changes in what our children view on TV and in movies, how we react to anger, how we resolve differences, gang abatement, enhanced drug enforcement, parenting skills, mentors, youth supervision, zero tolerance for violence in schools, enforcement of existing gun laws, community awareness and working hand-in-hand with law enforcement. All of the aforementioned and other efforts must work as one army, not independently. We did not reach this point quickly nor will it be an overnight cure.
Let us never become numb to the report of murder and other violence.
Honor Brady’s vision
Jim Brady responded to personal tragedy by becoming a tenacious advocate for common-sense gun laws to prevent dangerous people from having easy access to guns.
Jim and his wife, Sarah, worked tirelessly to pass the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, a law directly responsible for saving a countless number of lives. More than 2 million gun sales to criminals, domestic abusers and other dangerous people have been blocked because of their work.
Jim knew more should be done to prevent bad guys from getting guns. He and Sarah kept up the fight to get Congress to expand background checks to cover all gun sales, including Internet and gun shows sales, but Jim died before that vision became a reality.
Jim inspired millions with his strength, perseverance and vision of a safer America. There might not be another Jim Brady, but we have an opportunity to join together -- the millions of Americans who share Jim's vision -- and honor him by turning that vision into reality.
We need to demand that Congress finish the job Jim started and expand background checks to all gun sales.
Jim didn't stop fighting and neither will we.
Senate must act
Americans like me need the Senate to take up the cause on three matters of great importance.
The IRS cannot be allowed to enforce the ObamaCare individual mandate.
The law is bad enough already, but IRS enforcement is unacceptable. The tax agency was caught red-handed targeting conservative groups. It should not be allowed to enforce my health care decisions.
Second, Congress must pass the bipartisan USA Freedom Act (S. 2685), introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and supported by senators Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Under the Fourth Amendment, the government must obtain a warrant to search Americans. The NSA and other government agencies are not above the law.
Third, the Ex-Im Bank is up for reauthorization in September. The bank gives taxpayer-backed loans to some of the most profitable corporations in the world. Government bureaucrats need to stop picking winners and losers. The Ex-Im Bank needs to be shut down -- do not re-authorize it!
Millions of Americans share my views on these important matters. It is not enough to sit by and do nothing.
The Senate must take action to address these three major issues as soon as Congress comes back from August recess. We must hold our elected officials that they work for us. We don't work for them. Too many care about power!