On Memorial Day, honor those who laid down their lives for us

·4 min read
Casey Toth/ctoth@newsobserver.com

Honor our soldiers

On Monday, we honor all of our fellow Americans who laid down their lives so all the rest of us could live in a land of freedom. From the first shots at Lexington and Concord and the last, in Afghanistan, these unselfish courageous Americans served their country for their countrymen.

They came from everywhere, the big cities, small towns, farms, mountains, our shorelines. They were regular Americans who gave their last measure of devotion for all of us — people they would never know.

It has been said, “America without her soldiers would be like God without his angels.” We have laid to rest thousands of these angels all over the world. Let us remember all of them today.

Kirk Polizzi, Wilmington

Sex abuse cover-up

The recently released report about the Southern Baptist Convention’s cover-up of widespread sexual abuse is damning. I will be watching for the response of individual Southern Baptist churches, particularly those in North Carolina. I hope churches do not rationalize away or minimize the report. SBC churches should respond with grief, repentance, action and reform. Most of all, I hope the report is not met with silence. Silence is complicity.

Kim Schmidt, Charlotte

Gun reform. Now.

It is past time for common-sense gun safety laws. Republican lawmakers at both the state and federal level need to do their job. The majority of citizens are tired of the bloody slaughter going on in our country. It is not just the shooter. It is also the gun.

Katherine Ann Cline, Charlotte

Assault rifles

In the wake of the Texas school shooting, I think of Bob Dylan’s, “How many deaths will it take ‘til we know that too many people have died.” As a responsible gun owner, I am appalled that assault weapons are available to kids who can’t legally buy a bottle of beer.

Sales of assault rifles account for approximately 5% of all gun sales, but are the number one choice of mass shooters. Most citizens are for banning them. But in our current “democracy,” the majority doesn’t rule. Until that changes, we may as well leave the flags at half-staff. We all know why.

Roger Howard, Charlotte

NC senators, NRA

Why can’t Sens. Thom Tillis and Richard Burr help introduce and pass common sense gun safety legislation to protect us from unprovoked mass shootings? Simple. They are beholden.

In terms of U.S. senators who’ve received the most money from the National Rifle Association, Burr is second at $6.9 million and Tillis is fourth at $4.4 million.

Even if expanding background checks and banning assault weapons/large capacity magazines would save one child, wouldn’t it be worth at least a try?

Money can’t buy happiness but it can, evidently, buy silence. That silence and inaction is making us vulnerable, scared and dead.

Hardin Minor, Charlotte

School security

It is frustrating to see how politicized every tragedy seems to become on both sides of the aisle, which only causes increasing division among our citizens. Rather than argue, these circumstances should drive us to prayer for the victims and for wisdom to find reasonable and righteous solutions moving forward. One simple solution would be to guard our schools just as well as we guard the rest of our state and federally owned buildings. Our tax dollars should be going to the most important needs first, that being our children.

Elizabeth Nervegna, Midland

A place to start

“Rights” do not include forsaking the common good. Silence and inaction on gun control laws discounts the lives of victims and their loved ones and leaves our nation forever wounded.

My view is not anti-gun, it is pro life. Every life counts. We cannot bring back lives lost to random gun violence, domestic gun violence or suicide by gun, but we can help to prevent future deaths and irreparable injury. Sensible gun control would be a good start.

Judith Sielaff, Matthews

Other reforms

Our debate over how to respond to yet another mass shooting, in an elementary school or elsewhere, is tragically skewed and impoverished by the ways that big money and gerrymandering drive more extreme partisanship and political dysfunction, and make common sense gun reform impossible. If we care about the senseless slaughter of our children and others, we need to work both on gun control, and on reforming redistricting and campaign financing. We won’t get one without the other.

Pat McCoy, Charlotte

Federal help?

When I read in the May 21 Observer that the federal government will get involved in the real estate market to correct the effects of the corporate ownership problem, it frightens me. Have we forgotten what government intervention through Dodd-Frank did to the housing market in 2008?

Now it turns out that government involvement in controlling access to baby formula companies has been a factor in the current lack of supply. It should be clear to all that when the federal government gets involved to try to solve domestic problems, the laws of supply/demand become distorted and the results are generally detrimental.

Cliff Rhodes, Fort Mill

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