Letters, Dec. 21
Extreme problems, extreme solutions
In response to Lee Nelson's recent letter " Gun control in America":
I think Lee is on track when he mentions arming teachers, although I doubt an AK-47 would be the gun of choice. I would leave that decision to professional security personnel. I don't think that required concealed carry for students is an option, but we absolutely should teach gun use, safety and law in our public schools.
When I was coming up if you had told me that there would be police officers in public schools and armed airline personnel, I would have thought you were way out there.
These procedures, radical as they may be, seem to be somewhat effective. I guess we need to address extreme problems with extreme solutions.
Unity for a worthy cause
On Sept. 21, Mount Sylvan Ruritan Club sponsored a pancake dinner to support the healing efforts of a very precious little girl, and the north Durham community responded in an overwhelming way. Many individuals and groups rallied together with the Ruritan Club to make this a successful event, and the Mount Sylvan Ruritan Club members are very grateful. We had a varied group of volunteers, from small children to senior citizens and from school groups to local churches, participating.
While we cannot name each person individually, each one of them was special to this event for Kailey. Thank You very much for your help!
President, Mount Sylvan Ruritan Club
Last week's massacre in Connecticut weighs heavily on all our hearts. There is no personal tragedy greater than the loss of a child. The murders of 20 first-graders have left 20 families stunned and bereft, and their community deeply traumatized. No amount of empathy can compensate for such grief, yet the gulf between our national response to this horrible event and our non-response to the many deaths of children caused by U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan is startling. According to the U.K.-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which has personnel on the ground in Pakistan, approximately 175 Pakistani children were killed by U.S. drone strikes between 2004 and 2011. These children were “collateral damage.”
The Pentagon budgets $5 billion – that's billion with a “b”– solely for drones. Some of the taxes spent on these killer machines could be used instead for mental health care here at home, care that might have prevented Adam Lanza from going off the deep end and into Sandy Hook school last week. How many deeply troubled young people could be helped with even a small fraction of the tax money we spend on killer drones? How many needless tragedies could we prevent, both here at home and in Pakistan, if our tax dollars were used for mental health care (as well as other needed investments) rather than for “signature strikes”? It's past time to stop being stealth executioners abroad and work to end the violence here at home.
Joan F. Walsh