Letters to the Editor

03/18 What you’re saying: Lee Gundersheimer, April Perry, Kathleen Repass, Lynn Andrews, Ralph McKoy, and Nick Arama

Numbers make a difference

I was in college during the Vietnam War and protested along with thousands of others. Sometimes I wondered, “Could I help to make a change?”

If I didn’t join the protests, the war still would have ended the same. But it was the numbers that made the difference in ending the war. Now, at 66, I can look back and say “I was a part of a movement that made a difference.” I’ve always felt pride in the small part I played doing what I believed was right. Had I stayed home, I would have robbed myself of all these years of feeling that sense of accomplishment for participating.

As I recollect, the Vietnam anti-war protests began with students. Then many of the liberal middle class joined in. Then people from the working class. The surge was too much for Washington, D.C., to ignore. And changes happened.

Now, in light of the senseless killings happening in our schools and elsewhere America needs another voice. And it seems that the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have begun being the voice. It will take very little to create more of a surge that becomes a force that D.C. cannot ignore.

As someone with 40 years of knowing I was a part of something big, let me assure you that the students who come together, who write letters and speak to legislators will be able to look back and say “ was a part of change that saved lives.”

Lee Gundersheimer

Chapel Hill

The onus on the adults

If you don’t already recognize it, there will come a time when we will realize the huge dept of gratitude we owe the Parkland Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student activists.

As survivors of a school shooting, their unique perspective gives them a credibility other public figures don’t possess. They have been forced to grow up overnight and thrust into the national limelight. Although criticized and ridiculed openly by some members of Congress and others, they have responded with insight, grace and a maturity well beyond their chronological age.

Students have always led the way to social change in our country. But never high school students.

While no one wants to take away people’s guns for legitimate purposes, polls do show that between 80 percent and 95 percent of Americans want more solid gun laws. And they don’t want the gun industry to own our representatives. These kids are part of what could be a perfect storm to achieve the changes we have needed for decades. No one law can stop all mass shootings. But multiple laws along with social change can work to keep us safer in this country where someone’s “hobby” threatens kids at school or me at a concert.

The onus is on us, the adults in the room, to see that these kids’ idealism and energy is used to produce lasting change. I will be attending the March for Our Lives in D.C. to support them. And I, for one, am grateful for their sacrifice.

April Perry


Each pair a child killed

Shoes. Lots of shoes.

They were placed on the Capitol lawn. Have you seen them? Have you ignored them? I’m guessing that your answers are resounding “YES’s!” Each of those pairs of shoes represents one child who has been killed, by guns, since the December 2012 Sandy Hook massacre.

The Second Amendment is a critical piece of our history, Mr. Senator. But, so is the Declaration of Independence, which predates the Constitution. Those children deserved the unalienable rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Yet, the blood money you have taken from the NRA has kept them from realizing those very rights that were endowed to them by their Creator. Their blood, Mr. Senator, is on your hands. And, every time you walk by the Capitol lawn, I hope you are haunted by the knowledge that your desire to finance your career has kept each of them from having careers of their own.

Enough is enough. This country needs sensible gun legislation. And, thankfully, the teens from Parkland are standing up for the rights of each of those 7,000 empty pairs of shoes.

Why aren’t you?

Kathleen Repass


DA on the defensive

Re: Durham County DA reprimands judge who called black, female prosecutor 'third string' (March 13):

It appears to me that our district attorney Mr. Roger Echols, has been caught trying to make a mistake smell good, He was called out by Judge Fred Battaglia, rightfully so, over his mishandling of the damage to property case.

When he first tried to defend his office he blamed the local law enforcement for not doing a proper investigation, he also countered, “Should I take my seasoned prosecutors off of the murder cases?” This past week he attempted to cover for his assistant DA by attacking Judge Battaglia, saying he was marginalizing women, and especially women of color.

It seems to me that maybe Mr. Echols didn’t really want to prosecute the case but when he was called out on it he had to go on the defensive. I don’t think you can have it both ways. We may need a new district attorney in Durham.

Chris Shaw


Not enough evidence?

Maybe the DA should be more concerened about trying to win his cases.

How do you lose a case for “not enough evidence” when there's video and statements from the people admitting they did it?

Nick Arama

via www.heraldsun.com

On Russian interference

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have apparently decided, against all evidence to the contrary, that Russia did not interfere in our election in order to help Trump and hurt Clinton. It is now up to Senator Burr to determine the truth.

It is imperative that the Senate Intelligence Committee continue its bipartisan effort to gain a full understanding of the extent and methods utilized in Russian interference and what, if any, encouragement, assistance or coordination the Trump campaign offered or provided.

As a part of the investigation, it is crucial that financial ties between members of the Trump campaign, and Trump himself, be fully explored. Russia needs to know that our democracy is not for sale.

I implore Senator Burr to follow the facts wherever they might lead and pursue every lead, regardless of the degree of cooperation offered by various witnesses. This is arguably the most important issue facing our country in modern times. Please do not let politics or personalities get in the way of doing what is right and just. If we blow this investigation, Russia has won.

Lynn Andrews


Have critics studied history?

I must take issue Stanley Robboy’s letter, “Blind to history” (March 13) and ask whether he could use some refractory assistance regarding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

What part of the history of this conflict described by esteemed Jewish/Israeli historians such as Ilan Pappe and Benny Morris does he find inaccurate? Which of the extensively documented historical facts reviewed by Allison Weir in her book, “Against Our Better Judgment” are in error?

How many people who speak to the issue of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict have objectively studied its history and then spent time in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza and seen what false history has done to the people who survive in those regions?

As one who has spent time in each of these areas I pray that others recognize the inhumanity that exists there today. It’s an inhumanity that is not in keeping with historic Judeo-Christian values.

Ralph McCoy


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