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The Readers’ Forum

The Readers' Forum: 'A certain glee' imbues these instruments of death

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Mythologized firearms

Thank you for taking a stand against the Republican love affair with firearms (“Our view: Gun raffle is a mistake,” July 14). I doubt they will get it.

Rather than see firearms as dangerous, they seem to want us to think them to be benign or even beneficial. They seem to want everyone to accept their presence at the grocery store, at the bank, in the streets, anywhere people gather. But I doubt they would acknowledge that numbing us to the presence of firearms would assist the plans of the next mass shooters.

They often turn to self-defense as their rationale, and self-defense is an adequate reason to own a firearm. But they actually go further. As demonstrated by Vernon Robinson’s raffle plan, they imbue these instruments of death with a certain glee and enthusiasm that mock their claims to be “pro-life.” Anyone who truly believed that life is precious would rue instruments that end life — not mythologize or celebrate them.

This is but one aspect of the bankrupt, fever-dream philosophy of the Republican Party that rational people should reject to return our society to some semblance of peace.

Howard Greene



So our taxes will fund an artsy tribute to a seedy lawn pest (“City OKs $1M for dandelion art” July 2). Why not? It’ll go well with our profligate City Council’s other boondoggles, such as a renovated train station with no train service, a new pool house for a perennially closed pool and million-dollar hydroponic tomatoes. Voters, remember all this in the next elections.

Stan Whitley


Power grid technology

The flawed Supreme Court ruling on West Virginia v. EPA makes it abundantly clear that we need comprehensive legislation to address the U.S. electric grid technology. Corporate profits overrule public safety.

In 2021, Duke Energy’s ESG reported its power sources distribution: fracked gas 36%, nuclear 34.9%, coal 22.3%, wind 3.4%, solar 2.0%, hydro 1.3%. Coal and fracked gas make up 58.3% of Duke Energy’s grid despite the known environmental dangers. Unless we demand changes, corporations will continue to pollute because mitigation reduces profits.

Given past coal ash track records, can we rely on energy companies to protect the environment? Radiation was also confirmed in groundwater around the Lake Norman plant in 2018. The Marshall coal-fired plant recorded levels of radium 2.5 times the federal drinking water standard. Thallium levels at the same plant were also 18 times the N.C. groundwater standard. Suddenly, a dip in the lake looks a lot less appealing!

We, the customers, are left to live and play in these polluted areas and suffer health consequences. Furthermore, the growing weather extremes and increased demands make the current energy grid likely inefficient, non-resilient and undersized. There will be increased service failures.

It is time to address an electric grid for the 21st century. It is time for all new electric capacity to be clean and carbon-based sources phased out. We must vote for local, state and federal representatives who support clean energy infrastructure and electric grid modernization now. Vote like your life depends on it.

Cynthia Raynor



“Local GOP to raffle off guns, ammo” (July 13). Really? I have been a registered Republican all my voting life and I cannot believe this level of insensitivity.

I really hope their raffled guns and ammo don’t kill someone.

Lestine Hutchens


More defense of dandelions

A dandelion is not a “noxious weed” as the writer of the July 8 letter “Welcome to Weed Town” stated, but rather as the July 8 editorial “In defense of dandelions” stated, it is “edible and more nutritious than most vegetables.”

And have you never seen a toddler pick a dandelion and squeal with delight and present to a parent with great joy? Or that same child pick a dandelion gone to seed and blow on it until all the seeds are dispersed?

I think this public art will bring us much joy!

Elizabeth Martin



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