Letters To The Editor – Sept 7, 2022

Look at evidence in school safety debate

In response to the letter to the editor from Gene Carton in your Aug. 24 issue (“Arming educators and clergy could help curb violence”), the author cites no study or evidence or any statistics behind his position that arming our teachers and clergy members would help reduce gun violence.  In fact, on the issue of school safety, the evidence suggests this is not the way to address this crisis. 

A recent report from Everytown for Gun Safety, endorsed by the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, reveals that 60% of school age shooters were current or former students. In 50-75% of these cases, shooters acquired the firearm used from the home of a parent or close relative. Further, nearly all school shooting perpetrators exhibited some kind of concerning behavior before the shooting, behavior that in many cases was known by others.

Given all of this, the best way to reduce school shootings is to address the causes of these shootings at their root. 

First, we should educate gun owners, including parents and guardians, about secure firearm storage (to prevent shooters from accessing the guns in the first place). 

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Second, we should pass extreme risk laws (where family members or law enforcement can petition a court to prevent a student at risk from accessing or buying a firearm). 

Third, we should increase funding to schools to support enhanced mental health training and resources so schools are better able to intervene and stop an act of violence before it occurs. These are important pieces of the toolkit needed to address and reduce school gun violence.   

To learn more about evidence-based ways that you can support the reduction of gun violence and save lives, go to momsdemandaction.org. To learn more about secure storage and other aspects of responsible gun ownership, go to besmartforkids.org.  

Gail Wechsler, Missouri State Communications Lead
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America 


Reader appreciates column on work ethic

I want to applaud Marty Rochester for his column, “Excellence? I’ll settle for simple competence,” in your Aug. 24 issue. I agree with much of what he talks about, but would maintain that, in many cases, it’s a case of laziness, rather than incompetence. His example of McDonald’s employees not promptly serving people is an example of that.

I feel that we, as consumers, have perpetuated the laziness by not taking our business elsewhere often enough.  When I hear people complain about poor service, and then continue to patronize the establishment, it is almost as though they are purchasing the experience for which to complain about. As Jews, the work ethic is a very big part of our culture, and we are undermining it by continuing to patronize poor establishments. Nothing will get the message across louder and clearer than by affecting a company’s bottom line.

In line with Mr. Rochester’s column, good businesses also need to be singled out for praise, as he does in the case of Chick-fil-A. I would like to mention another business, and that is the Clayton Starbucks. On every occasion I have been there I have received both an excellent product and extremely efficient service.

Marty Rochester’s column certainly resonated with me.

Harry Toder
University City