Too many guns
Last week, our lovely town of Kernersville was shocked by a random shooting that killed an innocent 14-year-old boy who was visiting the park with his family (“Boy fatally shot at park,” Nov. 19). We can call this an accident. Or a one-off occurrence. But that's really not the case since we, as a community, have allowed it to happen.
And it certainly won't be the case when it happens again — and it will happen again. Because with every passing day, we allow more guns to be owned. We allow more people to carry them without training. We allow more kids to have access to their parents' guns or stolen guns, because there are few limits.
As an individual you may think you have the freedom to carry any weapon you like, but those freedoms now infringe on my right to feel safe when I go to a community park for a walk.
When our town is overrun with guns (for whatever reason people want to own them) there is no way to ensure my safety because there's just entirely too many around to escape. How many more lives need to be lost before we're willing to come together and find a place for meaningful gun control?
Some say justice was served in Kenosha, Wis., that the not-guilty verdict in the Rittenhouse homicide trial was just — morally right and fair.
Others say it was a travesty of justice, because two unarmed men — skateboard notwithstanding — were shot dead and another was severely wounded, with no accountability.
The jurors likely applied the law correctly to the facts and to the seemingly subjective video evidence. But that doesn't mean it was morally right or fair.
It may seem insane, but it is lawful in Wisconsin for a 17-year-old to carry a semi-automatic assault rifle in public.
Those on the travesty side of the verdict probably agree that it is fundamentally wrong, especially under the hostile circumstances unfolding in Kenosha the night of the killings.
If this same tragedy happened in numerous other cities, Rittenhouse would likely be going to prison for many years.
In Manhattan, Boston, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., etc., Rittenhouse would have been found guilty of either negligent homicide, reckless homicide or, at the very least, manslaughter.
And if he were Black and somehow made it out of Kenosha alive that night, he would ultimately rot away in jail.
Let's not fool ourselves. Rittenhouse and his actions that night are the product of an insane gun culture in Wisconsin and elsewhere across America, a culture perpetuated by and large by the right, by Republicans.
In that light, right-wing politicians and gun rights activists share the blame in the Kenosha killings. It's a travesty of justice, because two people were slain without any accountability.
The acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse on all charges ("Jury: Rittenhouse not guilty," Nov. 20) means that it is open season on every American who peacefully demonstrates against racial injustice, inequality and police brutality. Like George Zimmerman before him and now the defendants in the Ahmaud Arbery case in Georgia, Kyle went out looking for trouble, stalked those whom he hated, killed them and was found not guilty because he was "defending himself.” He has shown that he has absolutely no remorse for what he did, but will have to live with the stigma that he killed two people and was exonerated for it.
The Republican Party, white supremacist groups and radical conservative media have declared him a hero as well as those who stormed the Capitol last January. They have eagerly embraced violence and threats of violence to intimidate and silence anyone who opposes their warped notion of what our country should be.
We have a nation today that is an armed camp with more than 400 million weapons out there and with militias springing up in many states that have been given the green light to shoot whomever they want. Is this the America we want to live in?
The Nov. 21 letter “Thanksgiving celebration” uses the Mayflower Compact, which has no legal authority, to support the spurious and detrimental dogma that the U.S. is a Christian nation. According to the Constitution, “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion ... .” President Ronald Reagan declared, “We establish no religion in this country. We command no worship. We mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are and must remain separate.”
On this Thanksgiving, let’s celebrate the separation of church and state and our freedom to practice any religion or no religion.