Letters to the Editor

10/08 Your letters: Stanley Peele, Paul J. Giannone, Dawn Edgerton, David Pesapane, Barbara Snyder, and Jean Stasi

Dozens of people attend a vigil remembering the 59 people killed in Sunday's shooting in Las Vegas and calling for action against guns on October 4, 2017 in Newtown, Connecticut. The vigil, organized by the Newtown Action Alliance, was held outside the National Shooting Sport Foundation and looked to draw attention to gun violence in America. Twenty school children were killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown on December 14, 2012.
Dozens of people attend a vigil remembering the 59 people killed in Sunday's shooting in Las Vegas and calling for action against guns on October 4, 2017 in Newtown, Connecticut. The vigil, organized by the Newtown Action Alliance, was held outside the National Shooting Sport Foundation and looked to draw attention to gun violence in America. Twenty school children were killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown on December 14, 2012. Getty Images

Another way

What should we do in response to the massacre in Las Vegas?

We can have increased security in hotels and other buildings. That may help, but a determined killer will not be deterred.

We can put fences around our property. However, we cannot fence the world.

We can hire more police. We can arm ourselves. That is what we have been doing.

We can increase the use of electronic devices to detect the presence of weapons.

We can tighten the regulations about the sale of weapons and the kinds of weapons that are legal. However, it is unlikely that our government will take any meaningful steps in that area.

All of these things are natural responses. However, they have not worked. Violence has not been stemmed, and the magnitude, the inhumanity of the violence is increasing.

There is another way. All the responses to violence listed above are directed outwards, to other people. We should also look inward – at ourselves. What is our response to mass killings? Fear? Anger? Blaming others? Blaming the hotel? Blaming the police?

All of these things miss the point. Since the beginning of civilization we have been missing the point. The point is, we should react with inner kindness as well as outer protection. When Cain murdered Abel, that act could have taught the survivors that killing was not the path to travel on.

The failure to learn this lesson has been repeated billions of times through the pages of history.

We have to protect ourselves, yet to do this without inner reflection is fruitless.

Let's respond to the Las Vegas massacre by increasing our kindness to others. There is no better way for us to honor the 69 people whowere killed and those who were injured there.

Let's be more aware of the needs of others around us. We can try to follow the boy scout law, a part of which is to be “trustworthy, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind and cheerful.”

Remember the “random acts if kindness” movement of a few years back? Let's harken unto that. Make today about someone else!

Specifically, let's do at least two acts of kindness every day for 30 days. If we do that, perhaps it will become habitual. Then, if enough people do it we can glimpse the Garden of Eden.

Stanley Peele

Chapel Hill

Please educate me

There has been much talk lately about upholding our civil rights including our right to peacefully protest. Right now I am more concerned with the one about “bearing arms.”

I really do not think that our founding fathers ever dreamed that every citizen would someday have the “right” to own weaponry that would enable him or her to mow down children in schools, partiers at clubs, or fans at concerts.

I will admit that I would feel better if we could somehow “arm” the deer during hunting season to make things fairer, but I know that can’t happen. But, we can do something to keep children, partiers, and fans safer by making it harder for ANYONE to get semi-automatic guns and unlimited ammunition. I am not a “gun person” but I understand why some people want a gun for protection in their home.

Would someone please educate me on these points:

1. Why does anyone need a weapon capable of rapid-fire shooting?

2. Why does anyone need hundreds and thousands of rounds of ammunition?

Consider the answers to these questions:

1. Who is profiting from the sale of these items?

2. Who is profiting by having our elected officials support the ability of citizens to purchase these items?

3. Why does anyone need a silencer for a gun? (Don’t want to hear the noise from your gun? Wear ear protectors!)

Someone, please educate me! But I don’t want to hear about a “slippery slope.” We are already on one and we need to get off!

Barbara Snyder

Durham

Remember ‘Sams’

The controversy over Silent Sam standing on the UNC Campus is difficult for me. Yes, I agree with the concept of removing statues that honor treason and slavery. But here is the rub. As a Vietnam veteran, Silent Sam represents something else to me. I too fought for a southern army that was doomed to lose. The army we fought and died for in the rice fields was corrupt, it committed crimes against its own people, enslaved some and distorted the concept of democracy.

Was Silent Sam, like one of us, swept up in a war with no real knowledge of the civil rights meaning of his participation but standing in harm’s way for fear of Confederate retribution against him, the feeling he was doing the right thing or avoiding family humiliation? Yes, Silent Sam should be moved, but he must go to a place of reverence for all of us to look at him and remember about all those Sams who get swept into wars and paid an awful price that was beyond their control.

Paul J. Giannone

Hillsborough

Thrift Shop responds

We feel compelled to comment on the news story “Frustrated parent say Chapel Hill's PTA Thrift Shop still isn't answering questions” (Sept 14).

The PTA Thrift Board of Directors wishes the community to know we hear your concerns and pledge to be more communicative going forward. We have now posted a community response with completed, ongoing, and future action items to keep our patrons, donors, and the local community better informed.

In addition, we want to address recent community attacks on the integrity of our executive director, Barbara Jessie-Black. The PTA Thrift Shop Board of Directors has complete confidence in our executive director's leadership and of the excellent PTA Thrift Store staff. The full community response can be found at on our website under News and Events - Community Response - 2017.

Dawn Edgerton

Chair, Board of Directors

PTA Thrift Shop

A suggestion

I have a suggestion for the president regarding how to respond to the use of private emails by members of his White House and family as official government employees, and that is to follow his own advice. All he simply has to do is fill in the blank with a name, “_____, lock him/her up” and repeat it publicly on as many occasions as possible.

David Pesapane

Durham

Puerto Ricans Americans too

I find it unbelievable that with Americans in Puerto Rico without water, homes and power, our president was spending time tweeting about the NFL. There are people needing dialysis, babies needing incubators, operations needing to be performed, and no power or sterile water available.

The Americans in Puerto Rico may not be able to vote, but they are Americans, and they need our help now, not when the whim hits President Trump. The Coast Guard and the Navy could be sending ships to help. When the Puerto Ricans decide to come to the mainland because their island is no longer habitable, will they be turned away, even though they are Americans? I wonder about that.

Jean Stasi

Chapel Hill

What you’re saying

Please send up to 300 words to letters@heraldun.com. All submissions, online comments and Facebook posts may be edited for space and clarity. Thank you.

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