Letters to the Editor

11/29 Your letters: Linda P. Foreman, Brad Rudiger, and B. Pleasants

Way past enough

Flags flew at half-staff two weeks in a row.Gun crimes dominate the news. Concerts? Churches? Really?

According to the Gun Violence Archive, in 2017 there were 318 mass shootings in the U.S. (so far!) and 160 school shootings since Sandy Hook. Ten years post Virginia Tech, then the “worst” shooting, what has changed except that we’re still killing innocent people and children?

Our elected “leaders”seem unable and unwilling to act – seemingly in an NRA-induced fear that any common-sense reform will erode Second Amendment rights. Is it a coincidence that many members of Congress, including Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, receive substantial funding from the NRA?

Polls show most of us favor some common sense measures: banning bump stocks, tightening background checks, banning high-capacity magazines, banning assault weapons. Most of us know we don’t need automatic weapons to hunt and that protecting the stockade is frontier history.

It is time to lift our voices and urge – via letter, tweet, email or phone – our national and local elected officials to act responsibly.

America projectsitself as the civilized, moral leader of the world – and yet we stand alone in the shocking amount of gun violence on our streets every day.

The ’60s song “Blowin’ in the Wind” asks:

“How many ears must one man have before he can hear people cry?”

“How many deaths will it take ’til he knows that too many people have died?”

One is too many, one more is inexcusable. Congress, General Assembly, please hear, listen and act!

Linda P. Foreman

Durham

‘No’ on tax cuts

I am a small-business owner, and student. I’m choosing to advance my education as suggested by several members of Congress. But under this new tax proposal my projected tax bill will increase by approximately 300 percent if I take fellowships for my graduate-level education.

I’m doing exactly what has been suggested, bettering my position so I can afford basic necessities. Yet, I am going to be taxed heavily because I am choosing to better myself through higher education.

I don’t understand how our senators, Thom Tillis and Richard Burr, can support a tax structure that rewards corporations and takes money from the middle class. Please vote against the tax reform; it is not helping the middle class.

Brad Rudiger

Durham

The growing divide

Ray Dalio is calling for a national commission to explore the growing economic divide in the United States This is timely as our government seems bent on enacting massive tax and health-insurance reforms that will likely only exacerbate this disparity. Dalio linked the “economic divide” to premature death, poor access to health care and lower savings, and when you consider that the portion of U.S. citizens who are in the bottom 40 percent of the economy are also those who are at the greatest risk of poor health because of a variety of factors, this link is only more troubling.

As a student and public health researcher, my perspective is that if Republican tax plans in either form are enacted, adding an estimated 13 million Americans to our uninsured population and actively placing the priorities of the wealthiest in our society ahead of the needs to the majority, this divide can only widen, potentially with massive impacts on the health of our nation. Yes, there should be a national commission to explore economic disparities in the United States, but how can we hope that will happen when our country is working to move in the opposite direction, and fast?

B. Pleasants

Durham

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