Readers write, Aug. 27

MCNAIR ACADEMY

Praise for DeKalb’s handling of gun crisis

I was never prouder to be a citizen of DeKalb County than when I saw the seamless and professional security provided by DeKalb County police, led by their new police chief, and related law enforcement agencies as the tragic situation unfolded at McNair Discovery Learning Academy.

I was in Kansas City International Airport when I saw the beginning of the coverage. Often, law enforcement is placed in a negative light, but on that day, the precision and accuracy — as demonstrated in the safe and orderly evacuation of all students and staff — were incredible. Entering a facility where an armed gunman is firing is an act of bravery!

Hats off to the men and women of DeKalb County ‘s police department, and all the related agencies that did what they were trained to do.

JOANN WILLIAMS-WEST, STONE MOUNTAIN

LEFTIST SCOTS

Travel didn’t broaden this columnist’s mind

As a descendant of proud Scottish parents, I must object to Mona Charen’s column on her recent trip to Scotland (“Leftists have their way with ‘Scotland the Brave,’” Opinion, Aug. 21).

Her patronizing and disparaging remarks regarding Scottish politics were naive and insulting. She should realize in a true democracy, there is room for all shades of opinion — and if that means that at times the left gains the upper hand, so be it; it is the will of the people.

In addition, she totally missed the point of the “Fringe” performances, which by their nature are avant-garde, edgy and on the fringe of conventional art.

If travel is supposed to broaden the mind, we have failed miserably with Ms. Charen.

IAN SHAW, CUMMING

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Most prison sentences are cruel and unusual

I almost never agree with Mary Sanchez about anything, but her Aug. 20 column was just about perfect (“End social harm of our criminal justice system,” Opinion).

Besides the fact our insane prison sentences are responsible for terrible prison overcrowding, most sentences are so outrageously long that they constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

MURIEL AUGUST, ATLANTA

TRANSPORTATION

Distance-based fares unlikely for MARTA

Regarding “Transit fares for the future” (Opinion, Aug. 20) and “MARTA should embrace distance fares for riders” (Opinion, Aug. 20), it is questionable whether a distance-based fare structure will bring in more revenue. Because of that flat rate, I use MARTA for longer rides, despite MARTA’s fragmentary, little-integrated geographical coverage and legendary inconvenience.

As long as metro Atlanta’s public transportation system fails to morph into a top-notch, integrated and safe one, I see no chance that the public will accept a distance-based fare structure.

Munich, my hometown, has a distance-based system that is significantly more expensive than MARTA. People use it because it is highly integrated and convenient. Riding into Munich in your own car is more of a nightmare than riding into Atlanta.

GUNTHER RUCKL, DECATUR

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