Letters to the Editor

02/22 – What you’re saying: Linda Naylor, John Ballew, Vicki Ryder, David Price, Tom Stevens

Now is the time!

Now IS the time to talk about deadly shootings in our school classrooms and hallways, malls, entertainment venues, and churches.

How much time do we allow politicians to “not talk about the (fill in the date)” massacre before we allow them time to “not talk about” the next massacre?

Now IS the time to demand of our politicians just how many more lives must be lost before they decide they have accepted sufficient NRA blood money?

Sadly, apparently millions and millions of dollars and thousands of lives shattered is not enough.

Linda Naylor


A little perspective

School shootings are a terrible occurrence that inflict untold pain on families and communities. Gun violence that disproportionately affects inner-city dwellers is also a tragedy. A rational approach to gun sales and weeding out ownership by felons and mentally impaired people seems to be an approach that any reasonable person would support. No political party is ever going to confiscate all the guns in the US. The “no guns anywhere” ship has sailed.

But as we all get stirred up and start marching with candles here’s something to keep in mind.

Since Columbine in 1999, about 180 people have been killed in school shootings. I will not minimize the suffering those shootings have caused. But every day...repeat every day...about 9 people are killed and a thousand injured (CDC data) in vehicle accidents due to texting while driving. And the biggest proportion is teenage drivers. That’s over THREE THOUSAND people dying each year. This doesn’t even include deaths due to alcohol impaired driving.

So by a huge margin a child is more likely to be killed while driving to school or around town than they are while at their school. Of course this applies to high school students of driving age. But ask yourself how many parents are using their cell phones while taking their kids to school?

Where are the marchers against texting and driving? We have MADD but where is MATAD?

And for all you logic students out there, this isn’t an either/or situation. School shootings – or any shootings – should not be ignored or accepted as something we are powerless to stop. Definitely continue the move toward better gun-control policies. But keep a little perspective and also do something about a situation that is much more likely to kill someone.

Worrying about your child being involved in a school shooting while ignoring that your child is driving while using their cell phone or riding with a friend who is distracted is like driving down the road while drunk at high speed with no seat belt while worrying that you might be struck by a meteor.

John Ballew


What kind of country?

Last Wednesday was Valentine’s Day, a day dedicated to expressing our love to those we hold dear, a day for hugs and kisses and chocolate and flowers. Sadly, what some of our children received instead was a nightmare of gunfire, blood, death, and terror; and for those who survived, lifetime memories of that horror.

What happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has happened before – in Sandy Hook, Columbine, Virginia Tech, Chardon High, Red Lake, West Nickel Mines, Marysville, Westside Middle School, and, unfortunately, at many other schools too numerous to mention here. Nowhere else on earth do school shootings – or civilian shootings of any kind – occur with the frequency and the high body count that we endure here.

What kind of country have we created that requires active-shooter drills as part of the Kindergarten curriculum?

Some blame the mentally ill, some blame the victims for not having done more, some blame the parents, but one thing is certain: Unless and until we stop the insanity of making military-grade rapid-fire assault weapons available to any troubled person who strolls into Walmart with cash in his pocket, these preventable mass killings will continue.

I blame every politician who ever has accepted campaign funds from the NRA and then voted against every reasonable law that would have reduced the easy availability of rapid-fire weapons, large capacity magazines, bump stocks, and high velocity ammunition. They have our children’s blood on their hands, and they must be voted out of office.

Vicki Ryder


Defending our values

I am filing for reelection to continue fighting for a more just and inclusive society and defend the values we share as Americans against an erratic and reckless president and a compliant Republican Congress.

Over the course of my service in Congress, I have fought for and achieved hard-won progress toward improving the lives of American families and advancing values of fairness and equality. I have fought for accessible health care, supporting the Affordable Care Act and defending it from Republican attacks. I have fought for education, authoring legislation to make student loan interest tax-deductible and to train and support public school teachers. I have fought for clean air and water, for equal rights for all Americans, and for a foreign policy based on principles of multilateralism and engagement. And, as North Carolina’s only member of the Appropriations Committee, I have advocated for investments in infrastructure, housing, scientific research, and other priorities that enrich our quality of life and protect the most vulnerable among us.

Yet our progress on these and so many other fronts remains incomplete, with too many Americans left behind by our economy or marginalized by inequality and discrimination. And in recent years, our progress has been under direct assault from an ideology that believes government has no role to play in improving the lives of Americans and that the voices of corporations and special interests should count more the voices of the people.

President Trump has turned this long-term challenge into an acute crisis. Never has a president showed so little regard for democratic values or so little respect for the citizens he was elected to represent. From climate change to immigration policy to foreign interference in U.S. elections, resisting this President and holding his administration accountable isn’t just a matter of clashing ideologies – it is a matter of defending the values we hold dear as Americans.

I am filing for reelection in Congress because I am ready to help lead this fight. Our nation faces an unprecedented test, the outcome of which will affect every American for generations to come. Now more than ever, our nation needs experienced, progressive voices to restore trust, integrity, and progressive values to Washington.

I am honored to serve North Carolina’s Fourth District in Congress, and I promise to continue serving faithfully and forcefully in the years ahead.

U.S. Rep. David Price

Fourth Congressional District

Apply now for Hillsborough academy

Are you interested in learning more about how the Town of Hillsborough operates?

Beginning March 6, the town will offer a free seven-week course aimed at helping citizens increase their knowledge of town government as well as their interest and ability in influencing and participating in town decisions. Citizens Academy classes will take place 6:30 to 8:45 p.m. Tuesdays through April 17, with one Saturday class from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 24 to tour the town’s utilities system. The deadline to apply is Feb. 26.

Even though we’re a small town, town government and services can be complicated. The Citizens Academy is designed to provide participants a quick but comprehensive overview of how our town government works. Citizens who want to get involved in their community benefit because they can learn in a few weeks what might otherwise take years to figure out.

The Citizens Academy is limited to 20 participants, with priority going to citizens who live or work within the town’s limits and to customers connected to the town’s water system. Fill out an online application at bit.ly/2Ex2LoL, or pick up a paper copy at one of the following locations:

The Hillsborough Citizens Academy is an addition to the town’s Hillsborough University, a professional training program that the town has offered since 2002 to employees who want to excel in their work and prepare for greater responsibility.

The town also offers a Citizens Police Academy to introduce citizens to the work officers do, including sessions on uniformed patrol; the legal process; criminal and drug investigations; community services; and the K-9 unit.

For more information on the Citizens Academy, visit the Citizens Academy webpage or contact Assistant to the Town Manager Jen Della Valle by email or by phone at 919-296-9424.

Mayor Tom Stevens


Speak up

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