Letters for May 31, 2007
Playing with children’s minds
Re “Lawmaking absurdities” and “High funding and low dropouts unrelated” (View from the Fray and Right Hook, May 10):
I wanted to comment on the columns by Deidre Pike and Michael Lafferty on school funding. I agree with Deidre Pike’s assessment—it is easier to educate than incarcerate our young people. At least while in school, students have a dream of becoming, while prisoners are often faced with a harsh reality of never having their dreams come true.
Lafferty and the legislature think that education must first present its case to the public, like the public has no clue. I believe that the public has known for years that inflation is eating away [at purchase power], not only at home but in the education system, as well. Where has all the money from new home growth gone?
I spent 30 years as a secondary education teacher, politically active in helping to pass bond measures as well as legislative bills, calling parents, writing letters, going to board meetings and, on occasion, protesting, in an attempt to change complacency to intervention. Frankly, it wore me out, along with fund raising for my “art program” the last 10 years. I retired last year, only to read that I must rally for those who cannot—our children (who will inherit our mess)!
Our parents sent their children to school and never heard any of these issues we face today, and we graduated and found our way just fine. When did the “education” issue become such a battlefield?
Support the Holland Project
I have been involved in the music community in Reno for almost 10 years now, but I have not seen a community space so dedicated to providing all ages entertainment. The Holland Project is attempting to do something positive for this city and our community. The Holland Project provides a safe and positive environment for persons of all ages to enjoy various forms of entertainment. One disgruntled neighbor, who has been calling the police to have the Holland Project cited for disturbing the peace in a residential neighborhood, has interrupted this idea and vision. Holland is not in a residential neighborhood, and most residents are supportive of the Project. I urge every member of the community to speak up and show your support to let the Holland Project continue to do something positive for this community and our youth. For more information please visit: http://www.hollandreno.blogspot.com/
Leave the guns at home
Re “Death by gun laws” (Letters to the editor, May 24):
I am very disturbed by the letter from Mr. Bima. While wildly varying in subject, it seems that he is an advocate of people carrying guns on campus. I could not disagree more strongly. Mr. Bima recapped the tragic events surrounding Cho Seung Hui’s Virginia Tech massacre. Yes, the system by which this young man was allowed to carry firearms—let alone endanger his classmates—is supremely flawed.
Although young Cho was quite disturbed and crying out for help in his own way, the premeditated mass murder of those innocent students was entirely his responsibility. No one—regardless of their derangement—is blameless in murder. I will not forgive Adolf Hitler’s genocide simply because he had an inferiority complex, and there is little proof that Cho suffered from any greater a malady. Mr. Bima should be ashamed of forgiving irrational behavior when it results in the deaths of such innocent young people.
I am a veteran, and I feel blessed that we have the right to bear arms in this country. However, I would never—under any circumstances—endanger my classmates and teachers by carrying a gun on campus. Even a responsible citizen with no ill intent can pose a threat to others, and I do not have the right to put people in harm’s way because of some vaguely perceived threat.
Students are not fools. In fact, quite the opposite is true. They are sensitive to hostility and quick to see a threat. What would they think of me for carrying a weapon, even lawfully? Suddenly the classroom would be as uncomfortable as a prison yard, and all creative discourse would be ruined.
Though campus security proved quite a failure on that day in Virginia, the solution is not to open up the armory. The young men and women at college—intelligent as they are—have in most cases never been forced to make the life and death decisions people like me have. To many of them, guns are only abstracts—the cause of death rather than the tool of a murderer. I do not wish for the presence of guns in the classroom to turn my young classmates into killers and neither should Mr. Bima.
Congress recently bowed to the will of George W. Bush over the will of the American people by funding Bush’s Iraq war. Rather than accepting their Constitutional war powers responsibility and using the power of the purse to end this failed war as they did with the Vietnam war, Congress timidly caved in to Bush.
In so doing, Congress and Bush will continue sending our sons and daughters to die in a dishonest and incompetent war that according to our intelligence agencies promotes anti-U.S. terrorism.
Rio Rancho, NM