Reader letters, July 8

Jul 07, 2013

Slaughtered children are not the price of freedom

To the editor,

I have issues with your recent correspondent advocating a different perspective on guns.

He does not say if he is a member of the National Rifle Association, but they will no doubt be proud of his twisted logic that the 20 children and six adults murdered at Sandy Hook are just “part of the cost of defending freedom.”  This statement is an insult to the memory of these children and teachers and to their families.  This is a crass, ignorant and revolting statement.   Yes, children are killed in car accidents and by other means, but to equate those occurrences with the premeditated, cold bloodied murder at Sandy Hook is disgusting.

His statistics on the number of people killed by rifles is possibly incorrect and certainly disingenuous.  These murders should be considered in the larger context of the many thousands of people killed every year in this country by people wielding guns of one sort or another and so his arguments about hammers is irrelevant.  You can’t kill 26 people with a hammer in the time it took to kill these people.

I suspect that the writer is a staunch proponent of the right to own guns of every description, but don’t our children have the right to expect a safe environment when they attend school?

I have lived in five other countries where guns require permits or licenses and have felt just as free as in this country.  The gun murder percentage rates were a fraction of the murder rates here and there was little need to buy a gun to defend yourself, as so few people owned guns to assault you with.

Licenses or permits are required for countless reasons here, everything from driving a car, getting married, owning a business or practcing a profession to name just a few.  Is it such a problem to require some regulation to control instruments that can and are used to kill many people in a minute or two?  Many of these guns are thinly disguised military weapons designed for maximum killing capability, frequently at close quarters.  There seems little need to own this type of weapon.

Obviously, the question of gun control is complex, in part due to the incredible number of guns now in circulation and owned by individuals.  Gun ownership is encouraged by the gun manufacturing industry and of course the NRA.  Surely this country can do better than the sentiment expressed by your correspondent next time a mass shooting occurs, just shrug and say “well, it is just the cost of defending freedom.”

Robin Cortvriend



Tax reform facts not shared by right-wing lobbyists

To the editor:

The letter carrier keeps using my mail box for a trash can, but it’s not his fault. He has to deliver what’s sent.

The latest garbage is a recent lavish mailer from Americans for Prosperity extolling “tax reform” for North Carolina.

Two robocalls preceded it. Why is someone spending so much money to con us?

This particularly deceitful piece of propaganda claims that North Carolina needs “tax reform” to boost “jobs, business development and prosperity.”

What it doesn’t tell you:

— Every “reform” proposed by the Senate, the House or the governor would raise taxes on most people, cut them for corporations and rich individuals, and require the state to slash the budget once again, this time by at least $215-million and as much as $1-billion. That would be disastrous for education and everything else that North Carolina’s rabid Republicans seem hell-bent to destroy.

— Americans for Prosperity is a mouthpiece for the Koch Brothers, the Oklahoma oil billionaires who, among other things, are conspicuous climate-change deniers.

— North Carolina already has one of the nation’s most attractive business climates. Site Selection magazine rates us first, largely on account of our work force and our higher education system--which the looming “reforms” would ruin. Forbes ranks us fourth.

An Ernst & Young study for the Council on State Taxation found North Carolina to share with Oregon the nation’s lowest state and local tax burden on business, measured as a percentage of gross state revenue.

Why mess with success?

It’s because the politicians at Raleigh no longer represent the people of North Carolina. Their agenda is that of the national right-wing lobbies — the Kochs, ALEC and others —that mean to return America to the robber baron era, state by state by state.

Yet when North Carolina citizens peacefully protest at Raleigh, Governor McCrory derides them as outsiders. What a tragic irony.

Martin A. Dyckman