No Magic Solution, Bringing Fear to Pride — Letters for June 18, 2022

Siuslaw News Letters to the Editor

(Editor’s Note: Viewpoint submissions on these and other topics are always welcome as part of our goal to encourage community discussion and exchange of perspectives.)

No ‘Magic’ Solution to Gun Violence

“What if American Schools Were Protected Like Israeli Schools?,” an opinion by Professor Emerita of English, Cheryl Smith, California State University Sacramento on June 6, 2022, offers an example of one nation’s solution to the school violence problem. I recommend reading her article.

Unlike the U.S., Israel takes as fact the presence of terrorists in their midst. Israel faces the ugly reality of terrorism.

We in the U.S. prefer to pretend that we still live in a Disney world. Except perhaps we don’t? Does the fact that our nation is awash in guns suggest that perhaps, as individuals, we do not feel safe in our own homes?

I would argue that given the millions of guns in private hands, some of these weapons are bound to fall into the wrong hands. Into the hands of angry young men, the mentally ill, the chemically impaired, and violent extremists of all shapes and sizes. I would further argue that therefore we too live in a country plagued by terrorism — domestic terrorism.

I favor laws and law enforcement that improve the safety of guns. However, I agree with the many writers who have asserted that laws and enforcement alone will not solve the problem of violence. There are simply too many guns available and too many ways to make more illegally.

So, instead of distracting ourselves with the fantasy that better laws will protect our children, let us focus our attention on making our schools as safe as we possibly can.

Dr. Smith highlights the simple measures Israel employs in her article: a fenced perimeter with an armed and trained guard during school hours; a daily inspection of grounds before school; a single entry point, training for staff and students, coordination with police and others.

There is no magic, just practical common sense and a focus on school safety first, distinct from the separate issue of gun safety in general.

 Jim Pittenger — Florence

Something Else Could Change

In the recent Letter to Editor “Something Must Change” by Debra Walker (June 11), her alternative method on how to control gun violence is wonderful.

What she should have included are those who have failed their social contract and should be sent to some remote island. A few are Ted Cruz and Mitch McConnell, Alex Jones and the guy called Trump.

Win Jolley — Florence

Bringing Fear to Pride

What is with these emerging right wing white nationalist groups, that they would go to a “Pride” parade with riot gear, tear gas and more. As a straight white woman, I find it disgusting.

50 years of “Pride” parades is something our country should be proud of. To allow people to peacefully be who they are.

White nationalists, God forbid, have your own peaceful “Pride” parade if you have to, but don’t go around trying to intimidate other groups of people.

What are you afraid of? People who are different? Gay people? To me, all your bravado is just masking all your fear.

 Julie MacFarlane — Florence