Letters – Gun Violence, Colin Allred, Sandy Hook Promise, Student Loans, Whistleblowers

Abused need access to gunsThe gun violence that has shattered our communities is truly tragic. But preventing women who are victims of domestic violence from purchasing a firearm until is too late will not keep more people safe. Recently the House passed the Enhanced Background Checks Act (H.R. 1112). While the current background check system ensures lawful firearms transfers from dealers can take place, H.R. 1112 could indefinitely delay firearm purchases for law-abiding Americans.On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. In one year, that equals more than 10 million women and men. For a woman threatened by domestic violence, too many days could mean the ability to protect herself could come too late.While some Democrats chose to join with House Republicans on an amendment to stand with victims of a crime of domestic violence, Congressman Colin Allred was not one of them. Texas women deserve the right to be able to defend themselves whenever they may be threatened. By his vote, Allred seeks to make that much harder to do.Don Pearce, Dallas/Lake HighlandsStand with bereaved familiesWhat will it take, and how many more lives will be cut short, until the American people will come to terms with the gun epidemic? Numerous articles and an endless pleading to remove firearms from civilians is apparently not working. The pain that hundreds of families are going through each year is not strong enough to turn the tide. If the people who terrorized the synagogues in California and in Pittsburgh did not have firearms, they could not have killed anyone. I have pleaded before four presidents, including President Donald Trump, to influence the needed change. The two obvious obstructions are the Second Amendment and the National Rifle Association ( the business side). Please understand that 1. guns in the hands of civilians will not stop massacres in public places and 2. we should not be doing business with firearms for civilians (they are meant to kill). We, the American people, must stand up with all the bereaved families and declare "enough is enough."Jack Molad, PlanoHelp recognize warning signsAs stated by Mark Barden, whose child died at Sandy Hook, school is where children spend most of their time and it should feel safe — full of friends, trusted adults and caretakers. But, as we have seen repeatedly, it can be the site of unimaginable pain, terror and sorrow. These tragedies do not have to happen; they are usually a culmination of years of bad choices, negligence and overlooked signs of potential violence. I believe it is urgent that every Texas student be given access to proven violence prevention education like the no-cost Know the Signs programs from Sandy Hook Promise. When Texas parents put their children on the school bus, they want to know the kids will come home safe — but Texas is currently ranked second in the country for the number of incidents of gun violence in schools. One in eight Texas students has attempted suicide since 2017 — a much higher rate than the national average. We know that, in four out of five school shootings, the shooters told someone about their plans prior to the attack. The problem is students often don't know how to recognize these warning signs, or what actions they should take if they do see them. That's why we must teach them.Sandi Hebley, DallasTruth behind student debtRe: "On Borrowed Time — Can markets allay federal student loan insanity?" Wednesday Editorials.Your editorial parrots Secretary of Education Betsy Devos' false claim that the government "takeover" of student loans caused an acceleration of student loan debt. To the contrary, it was not a government takeover. Student loans were 100% government guaranteed even before the "takeover." Private lenders were just middlemen who took their cut and the taxpayers bailed them out if there was a default. This "free market opportunity for competition," as you call it, was just another opportunity for banks to make money without risk!The real reason for the escalation of student debt is the skyrocketing cost of higher education, greatly exceeding the increase in income and net worth of ordinary taxpayers. At some point we will have to consider debt forgiveness to some degree, or a whole generation of student borrowers will take the economy down with them. Jim Barber, DallasCan't tell the good from the badRe: "Dems: Most are losers in tax swap — Analysis finds those in households under $100K would be hurt," Tuesday Metro & Business story.How strange that the Republican Texas leadership, the champions of decentralized power and lower taxes, want to: 1. raise sales taxes on those who are least able to afford it; and 2. tie the hands of local governments trying to determine how and where to spend the money. I don't know how to tell the good guys from the bad guys any more. Could you legislators please put on your white hats and black hats so we can tell?Stephen McCluer, Far North DallasDisgusted with racial slursRe: "Whistleblower fired after complaining about racial jokes — Tribal center officials order training but stand by employees," May 1 Metro & Business section.How is any of this funny? As an enrolled member of the Cherokee tribe, I cannot find anything funny about people who are supposed to be representing and assisting local tribal members when they make offensive jokes about tribal names. Topping that off, I find it equally offensive that the person who exposes this reprehensible behavior then gets fired. It is bad enough that in this day and age it is still okay to use a racial slur for a football team like the Redskins, but it is at least as bad for this kind of behavior to occur. I am disgusted.Peggy Tucker, Richardson  Continue reading...

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