Vote for gun safety
In the wake of the Uvalde shooting, I feel nothing but pain. I am a junior in high school. I am 17. Nineteen elementary schoolers and two teachers lost their lives on May 24. Elementary schoolers who are young, just starting life. Elementary schoolers who never made it to where I am. And all I can think about is the adults who refuse to listen. The adults who are telling me that their gun is more important than my life, or the lives of 19 dead 10-year-olds. The adults who preach “thoughts and prayers” after every shooting, then turn their head the other way until the next one comes, and they again preach “thoughts and prayers.” It is past time for action to be taken. It is past time for our legislators to prove that they care about the lives of our kids. As we approach the election this November, I ask all Idahoans to vote for candidates who care about our kids. Candidates who will actively work to stop tragedies like this from continuing to happen. Candidates who understand the importance of gun safety legislation. Vote on behalf of the 19 elementary schoolers who will never get to vote.
Amaia Clayton, Eagle
Thoughts and prayers
Regarding the recent murder of 18 children and three adults in Uvalde, Texas, following the 10 murders at the Tops in Buffalo.
If you hear someone say, “our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims,” ask how they voted. We have a limited ability in this country to impact our destiny, but we do have the vote. If you voted for a candidate that rejects background checks, waiting periods, age restrictions, or voted to eliminate concealed carry permits, training, or any license at all, you are contributing to the death of these innocent people. I do not want to come get your guns, I own guns myself, but there are laws for a reason and I hope that you never have to lose your son, daughter, grandchildren or loved one in one of these preventable shootings. I don’t want to hear about your sadness and pity for the loss, ask the news media to report it as a statistic as that is all it is now.
Linda Bowen, Eagle
Decades ago, conservative columnist George Will predicted that when the shootings then taking lives in the black communities spilled over into the white communities, “we” would put an end to those shootings. What Mr. Will didn’t foresee was the NRA changing its focus from gun safety to promoting gun sales and on gaining political leverage. Nor did Mr. Will foresee that since 2001 the Republican Party has pushed to expand “gun rights” as a tool for political advantage. Politicians in state legislatures expanding “gun rights” have fostered the false notion that carrying a gun is “heroic,” even “patriotic.” The politically motivated expansion in “gun rights” directly correlates with increased gun deaths. Legislators/governors voting to expand “gun rights” have curtailed, even stolen, our “rights” to safely go shopping, attend church, attend entertainment events, or for our children to safely attend school. Our freedom to peaceably assemble and our free speech are increasingly being denied us by the cowardly bullies exercising their “rights” to open carry at public events. What can we do to stop this madness? Vote out of office any politician with an “A” or “A+” rating from the NRA or who does not actively support removing guns from the streets.
Tom Newton, Caldwell
Our political parties are destroying American politics. On election night I saw at first-hand an example of how that is happening.
At the Republican election watch party the first speaker began by extolling the greatness of a Republican dominated Idaho with a list of virtues concluding with “and GUNS!” (emphasis hers).
Moments later she added “the Democrats are, let’s be honest about this, the enemy.” Two sentences later she repeated that Democrats were the enemy of those in the room. Not neighbors with different opinions. Enemies.
Fellow Americans. Enemies.
Fellow Idahoans. Enemies.
An enemy is to be conquered. Vanquished. Eliminated.
Oh, and did someone mention GUNS?
Whether she “didn’t mean it like that” or not matters not at all. She said it. And people hear words like that.
People who drive hours to kill Black “enemies.”
People who enter stores to shoot Asian “enemies.”
People who go to an El Paso grocery to kill Hispanic “enemies.”
The founders saw political faction as the foremost threat to the republic they sought to create. Their worst fears are realized in what our political parties have become.
If today you fear for our republic, know that you are not alone.
George Moses, Boise
Recently, a rash of high school suicides occurred in eastern Washington. Why would so many teens end their lives early?
In desperation, the community hired a consultant experienced with teen suicide outbreaks. Each had one commonality – coverage by local media as some glorious event. The consultant’s solution: no media coverage for future teen suicides. It worked. Once teen suicides stopped being front page news, they stopped.
It’s happening again with mass shootings today. They are in style and are big bucks as mainstream media sensationalizes each mass shooting. Media is encouraging a nationwide competition to reach the mass-murder Final Four.
Law-abiding American gun owners are hammered to give up their guns, but the law-abiding Americans aren’t at fault. Meanwhile, Hollywood defends its First Amendment freedom of “expression” to sell non-stop carnage and depravity on TV, movie and computer screens. Who really thinks “the Bastard Executioner, “Pulp Fiction” and “Grand Theft Auto” have redeeming social value?
Mass shootings will only end when all American TV, cable network and social media viewers demand an end to glamorizing carnage. Yes, it’s hard. But why not try?
George G. Byers, Eagle
Babies and guns
Until the recent mass shooting in Uvalde Texas where 19 children and 2 adults were mowed down by an 18 year old, the focus by most government officials of one party has been abortion and the sanctity of unborn lives.
The children in Texas were very much alive, and now they are just gone. The same politicians who wax eloquent on saving the unborn, look the other way and dismiss the sanctity of the children who in fact were very much alive and full of promise. Instead, what is most important to those politicians is the sanctity of the Second Amendment and gun rights.
Mary Feeny, Boise