Letters to the Editor

Guns, bullets should be taxed like cigarettes and given to victims of gun violence

As society has recognized the link between cigarettes and cancer, states have instituted taxes. Simultaneously businesses, cities and states have limited cigarette smoking in public places.

With the increase in shootings in this country, the associated loss of life and the lack of legislation to deal with the common factor in all these incidents, that of guns and bullets, I propose that, at the very least, our national government should institute a tax on both. Perhaps 10 cents a bullet and $50 a gun. The money generated could be used in a gun care fund to pay for the medical expenses for victims of gun violence. Presently, the victims have to pay for their expenses.

Certainly, this will not solve the problem of weapons of war and gun magazines being readily accessible, but it is a start and perhaps this is possible. We must stop the carnage and “thoughts and prayers” aren’t cutting it.

Mana Hewitt

Columbia

When will politicians step up against the mass shootings?

Three more mass shootings (Nos. 21 and 22 this year!). More crocodile tears and hypocritical thoughts and prayers from the people we elected to keep us safe.

These atrocities were not been committed by radicalized Muslims or immigrants crossing the border, but mostly by angry young white men. These young men have become emboldened by a president who refused to condemn the white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, and some members of Congress who refuse to pass meaningful gun legislation.

How much longer must we tolerate this terrible behavior? How many more people have to die before our representatives take a stand and do the job we elected them to do?

Lewis Huffman

Columbia

All people are somewhere on the racism continuum

I was a first lieutenant in the Army when I graduated from the Department of Defense Race Relations Institute in 1972, trained to lead race relations seminars. All graduating race relations officers (Army, Navy and Air Force) were issued a training manual to give to our commanding officers when we returned to our duty stations. It contained a statement along these lines: If you consider yourself “color blind” or think that you “don’t have a racist bone in your body,” you need to have a discussion with your race relations officer about how this miracle occurred.

Saying that someone either “is” or “is not” a racist is an oversimplification of a complex social phenomenon, and can be disputed. Racism exists along a continuum from “hardly any racial bias” to “hates people because of their race.” All people, regardless of skin color, have a place somewhere on that continuum. I’ve encountered many people who think that because they don’t hate anyone just because of their race, they can’t be racist. When soldiers would try to persuade me that they didn’t need to attend a race relations seminar because they were “completely color blind,” I’d reply with a straight face, “Oh? What planet did you grow up on?”

Jeff Koob

Columbia

A poem on the wrongs of the world

I DON’T WANT TO DIE

I don’t want to die, because:

of hate mongering from Washington,

of the encouragement of racism,

the NRA ruling Washington,

from a Russian atomic bomb,

the lack of insurance for the poor,

the dearth of health care for the impoverished,

a tax system favoring the wealthy,

the destruction of the nation’s beaches,

of foreign interference in our elections,

of global warming,

my grandchildren are receiving an inadequate education,

pharmaceuticals being too expensive.

Lisle Mitchell

Columbia

Democrats’ proposed radical socialism is a recipe for disaster

Many in the Democratic party are proposing socialistic programs that would drive this country into economic chaos. Today, the American economy is at record levels in unemployment, jobs, wages, etc. Enter the socialists’ proposals. The Green New Deal – eliminate fossil fuels in 10 years; no cars, no airplanes (surf to Hawaii), no cows and a retrofit of all buildings in the U.S. Open borders – come one, come all; we welcome your gangs, thugs, drugs and coyotes into the U.S. Medicare for all – including illegals. Free tuition – grab a book and show up at your local university.

To pay for all this free for all, corporate taxes would soar, a wealth tax would be levied and all Americans would see their taxes rise sharply. Hard working, patriotic Americans would see their standard of living decline. If these programs were implemented, the American economy would sink into a state of chaos. A recipe for disaster.

The people behind these radical proposals are radical, socialistic Democrats. Many are running for the Democratic presidential nomination. Others, like AOC, Tlaib and Omar are just radical leftists that need to be eliminated from our Congress. We do not need these anti-Semitic and Muslim advocates representing the United States. Instead of promoting radical socialism in America, Democrats get the liberal mayors to clean up their cities from an overwhelming homeless disaster – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Baltimore, New York, etc. And, work with Republicans to solve the immigration crisis, improve infrastructure, health care, climate change and other issues that preserve our great country.

Jesse Moore

Leesville

Thanks to the police officers that always serve

I had a flat tire on my way home from getting my mom's groceries Saturday.

I tried to put air in the tire but it would not work. I saw two police officers across the road from gas station in the Edmund community. I pulled over to where they were and asked them to help me change my tire. They were very helpful in changing my tire.

I would like to thank those two police officers again. We don't thank them enough for what they do to keep us safe in these times. Thank you again.

Marie Riley

Leesville

Families need legislation to help fund quality child care

When first reading the term “child care desert,” dry flat lands come to mind. In the verb form, however, to desert means to abandon a person in a way considered disloyal or treacherous. This is what has happened to 42% of South Carolina’s residents.

This staggering percentage is how many people live in areas with limited or no access to licensed child care centers. Families are being forced to leave the workforce or find unlicensed care through family or friends. This is negatively affecting our state’s economy in a significant way.

Such is the case for my daughter and her family. My precious grandson’s care is met through finagling the work schedules of his parents and grandparents. Additionally, his family can’t afford the annual $6,840 that daycare demands.

Our representatives in Washington need to co-sponsor the bipartisan Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act. This legislation will start to expand access to quality child care. As a teacher, mother and grandmother living in South Carolina, I encourage Sens. Scott and Graham to join me in the quest to protect our greatest assets-children by co-sponsoring this bill.

Judy Ryan

Elgin

GOP needs to do something about gun laws

I’m sick and tired of the Republicans responding to shootings like the one in El Paso by saying “God be with you” and “our condolences” to the victims of mass shootings. When are they going to get off the NRA dole and try and do something the majority of the country wants, and pass legislation limiting guns and assault weapons?

Peter Swanson

Columbia

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