LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, Dec. 19, 2012

Sandy Hook tragedy

Newtown, Conn: What’s the fuss?

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After all, restrictive laws aren’t going to change cultural mindsets. Yep, then we might as well repeal the 14th Amendment and put Jim Crow back in charge of labeling water fountains.

 

After all, a determined perp and malice aforethought cannot be practicably detected until after a horror has been witnessed. Yep, so let’s keep confiscating nail scissors from flying grandmas in case they turn out to be Al Qaeda operatives, but let their grandsons walk out of gun shows with Saturday night specials and automatic rifles.

 

After all, the Founding Fathers claimed “all men are created equal” and have the “right to bear arms.” Yep, so let the NRA lobby Washington to lift sanctions on Iran and North Korea so they can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best of us at the world’s firing range.

 

After all, guns don’t kill; people do. Yep, neither do steak knives cut meat; diners do.

With this kind of logic, we’re lucky if, as a nation, we shoot ourselves — and our children — only in the foot.

 

Rabbi Scott Saulson, Ph.D., Creve Coeur

 

The gun culture in this country cannot be justified and must be addressed. I have no issue with the Second Amendment. However, the CDC reports that of the 16,799 homicides in the United States in 2009, 11,493 were caused by shootings — 68 percent — a staggering statistic. Forty percent of the 270 million guns purchased (under civilian ownership) in the United States were sold by unlicensed private sellers. 

Historically, the issue of gun control and the gun culture in America has been a forbidden topic. But when the shootings at Columbine become a faint memory falling behind the tragic and senseless shootings at a grade school, the time has come for an immediate, open and reasoned discussion. The future of our children demands nothing less. 

Jay B. Umansky, President, St. Louis Region American Jewish Congress

 

Support Netanyahu  

It is reprehensible that the editorial page of the Light continues to find ways to bash the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. Two weeks ago it was a questionable editorial, “Bank Shots,” chastising Netanyahu’s announcement of expanding settlements in response to the illegal Palestinian decision to avoid negotiations with Israel by relying on the U.N. to create a pseudo-state of “Palestine.” 

The editorial page last week (Dec. 12) featured a Steve Greenberg cartoon repeating the charge that PM Netanyahu is guilty of destroying the Two-State Solution by pushing settlement expansion. The Palestinian Authority and Hamas are the real impediments to peace. Israeli political leaders from the right to the center-left have endorsed settlement expansion, including former Kadima leader Tzipi Livni. Why is there no criticism of her? This continual Bibi-bashing is unseemly, unfair and irresponsible.

Polls in Israel predict that Netanyahu’s center-right coalition will be reelected in January. If this occurs, the people of Israel will have demonstrated their support and confidence in their current government, which is continuing to face terribly difficult problems.

The editors should stop substituting their judgment of what’s good for Israel; only the Israelis are qualified to make that decision. It is, after all, their lives, their children, their country and their elected Prime Minister.

Irl Solomon, St. Louis County