Readers write: July 20

Massacre reflects flawed gun laws

A recent letter writer misses the truly ugly and national issue emanating from the Emanuel Church massacre, and that is how the killer legally obtained the murder weapon. The FBI director admits the FBI and the background check system failed badly, because it failed to notify the appropriate South Carolina law enforcement authorities that Dylan Roof was a felon and should not have been sold the gun that was used to kill nine innocent people.

The lesson from the Charleston murders should be to focus on strengthening the laws relating to gun purchases and ensuring enforcement processes that are already in place, such as background checks, are correctly applied to prevent felons obtaining guns through the legal purchasing system to pursue criminal acts.


Georgia senators failed LGBT youth

When the Student Nondiscrimination Act — a measure to protect students from harassment based on gender identity and sexual orientation — came up for a vote last week in the U.S. Senate, 45 senators including Georgia’s Johnny Isakson and David Perdue voted against it. For those unfamiliar with the ways in which lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students face discrimination, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network released a report in 2013 that stated, “Most LGBT students in Georgia had been victimized at school. The majority of these incidents were not reported to adult authorities.”

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who lead the effort against this amendment, believes this is a local issue. But while organizations like Georgia Equality are working on it, bullying continues, and innocent kids are affected. Discrimination does not come just from fellow students, but from faculty, staff and administration. The way the Georgia senators voted on this bill is disgraceful, and I hope when Sen. Cory Booker’s Stop Harming Our Kids Resolution 2015 comes up for a vote, Isakson and Perdue take a chance to protect Georgia’s youth. The resolution seeks to draw attention to dangerous “conversion” therapies to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.


Destroying statues, destroying history

Well, well, well. First we had the Taliban destroying the ancient statues of Buddha, hewn from living rock in Afghanistan. Then along came ISIS, doing the same type of fell work — including ancient cities — in the areas they infest. Now the Georgia NAACP wants to remove the Confederate leaders’ sculptures on Stone Mountain. What’s next? Mount Rushmore? After all, both Washington and Jefferson did own slaves. It’s enough to make this old historian weep.


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