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The Readers' Forum: Monday letters
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The Readers' Forum: Monday letters

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No gun solutions

The writer of the Sept. 8 letter “Working together” disagrees with a letter blaming Republicans (“No lies,” Sept. 5) for stopping efforts to prevent gun violence. He says, “It should be about everyone working together, regardless of political beliefs, to come up with a workable solution for the very human problem of school shootings.”

I agree, it should be — but it’s not. The truth of the matter is that Republicans have spent much of their political capital on blocking efforts to reduce gun violence. They’re against universal background checks; they’re against outlawing assault-style rifles crafted to kill people; they're against limiting magazine sizes; they’re against “red flag” laws — they’re against any commonsense laws that put children’s lives above their “freedom.” Such efforts violate their knee-jerk cultural fealty to an expansive, unlimited Second Amendment. That’s just the reality of the situation. Refusing to identify the problem is one reason gun violence is never reduced or solved.

The only solution Republicans ever offer to gun violence — is more guns. Arm security guards, arm teachers, arm students — which would lead to more gun accidents, more gun violence, more gun fatalities.

But every time Democrats propose some simple measure that might help protect our children, Republicans scream, “They want to steal our guns!”

Democrats have their problems, too. But we won’t solve the problem of gun violence until so-called “pro-life” proponents prioritize our children’s lives over their worship of guns. That’s just the truth.

Bethany Pare

Winston-Salem

No more excuses

To follow up on Rob Schofield’s Aug. 29 column, “State lawmaker’s climate take is toxic,” the “China excuse” is frequently used by climate deniers to justify U.S. inaction. Conversely, China is using U.S. climate inaction as an excuse to not do more climate mitigation than what it committed to at the Paris Accords. Neither position is acceptable.

Much of China’s energy use is commissioned by other countries. As manufacturing has shifted out of Europe and the U.S. to China, carbon consumption in China has increased. Industrial production accounts for 66% of China’s total energy consumption. Twenty-two percent of U.S. goods are made in China. Seventy to 80% of Walmart goods are made in China. Even with this increase, carbon consumption per person in China is still much, much less than in the U.S.

Blaming China for higher carbon emissions ignores the fact that product demand from U.S. and Europe is driving Chinese manufacturing and increasing greenhouse gas emissions. While this demand may not change, the energy source must convert to renewables to reduce these emissions.

We must share the carbon emission responsibility with China. Please contact your members of Congress and urge them to support the EICDA (Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act), HR 2307. A fee on carbon is our best first step to reduce these greenhouse gases. As carbon fees gradually increase, energy demand will shift to other sources. This shift will stimulate energy innovation, which, in turn, will drive new jobs and boost our economy. No more excuses.

Cynthia Raynor

Winston-Salem

Not how to die

Close your eyes, and just imagine: You are on your deathbed in ICU and you are alone. You have COVID, family is not allowed to visit. Only ICU staff can come and go behind their protective attire of masks, gown, gloves, etc. You will not be able to say your goodbyes to family, nor them to you.

This is not how you expected to die — alone without any loved one by your side. You chose this path to be alone on your deathbed only because you denied yourself the life-saving vaccine.

Now think back further when the polio vaccine was a common vaccine which has helped eradicate polio in today's world. You don't have polio today only because of the people who put their faith and trust in a vaccine that had hope of eradicating polio.

Fast forward to today, your day of death. You will not die of polio because you had the vaccine in your earlier years. You will die of COVID, alone and without family by your side. If only you had chosen a different path.

Judy Manuel

Clemmons

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