August 23, 2019

Letters to the Editor

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No letters were printed this week; here are the letters from last week ago:

Epidemic of shootings must remind us we ‘are our brother’s keeper’

This is in response to Mike Krokos’ editorial in the Aug. 9 issue of The Criterion about gun violence and mass shootings.

We can no longer afford to treat these as isolated incidents that are completely unpredictable and random and therefore unactionable: we have an epidemic. It’s so much an epidemic that the evening news nowadays simply includes a shooting along with its other nightly news items, before moving on to sports and weather.

Just as we are unable to come together as a country on health care, immigration and global warming, we are in gridlock over gun control. We can only offer up “thoughts and prayers” in response to another shooting, and hope these shootings will somehow stop on their own.

But there are some things we can do now, at the local level, that do not involve politics. We can be a friend to the lonely and outcast. We can visit them and try to get them re-engaged in life: we can certainly invite them to church.

If they have immediate needs, we can try to help or point them to help. As a default, we ought to at least make authorities aware of threatening Facebook posts. And certainly, merchants who see a person buying up guns and ammunition in bulk should contact the police.

Going increasingly to “open carry” is I think the wrong answer, and could quickly turn our school and malls into “Wild West” shows where the new buzzword is “Draw!”

There is a better way to handle this, and it involves love. In the end, “love conquers all.”

And by the way, yes, we really are our brother’s keeper.

- Sonny Shanks | Corydon

There are parallels between mass shootings, tragedy of abortion, reader says

“Assault on the nation,” the headline reads. More innocent people—attending a garlic festival in Gilroy Calif.; doing back-to-school shopping at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas; having a drink with friends at a nightclub in Dayton, Ohio—killed. The perpetrators take aim with assault weapons, pull the trigger and destroy life—just like they did at the Aurora movie theater in Colorado, the Pulse night club in Orlando, and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

What is the root of this evil in our country? Where does this disrespect for human life originate?

Is it remotely possible for us to look at our acceptance of abortion—the intentional ending of a human life as a solution to an unwanted, unplanned or feared pregnancy—as a factor? Can we allow ourselves to acknowledge the reality of a tiny person, with unique DNA and a God-given right to life, being cut apart by a medical instrument, burned with chemical solution, destroyed by powerful suction, and that this violence against another human being is actually protected by our laws?

Do we justify our neglect to protect life by figuring that this child might have been abused or neglected anyway, may have been poor, may have had a disability? Would we justify any shooter’s selection of his victims based of any of the above?

We rightly mourn the tragic and senseless violence of a domestic terrorist with a high-powered rifle in his hand, slaughtering ordinary Americans. Yet somehow, we cannot bring ourselves to admit a parallel with the taking of innocent life in the womb.

Instead, we light up, in pink, the One World Trade Center in New York City to celebrate that victory of unlimited abortion, which we prefer to call “women’s rights.”

It’s strange to think that every one of us able to watch, read and contemplate the horror of recent mass shootings was given the gift of life by our mothers. Let’s use that privilege to stand up against violence that results in the death of innocent Americans, both in the womb and in our towns and cities.

Let’s be honest with ourselves and not allow either the National Abortion Rights Action League or the National Rifle Association to defend their weapons of choice in assaults against our fellow human beings.

- E. Adele Schluge | Indianapolis

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