Readers write, July 1

CIVIL RIGHTS

Ideology blinds court to past voting abuses

As a Republican two-term office holder, I know more than most about how the game is played.

Obviously, five radically right-wing Supreme Court justices do not. Despite all of the evidence compiled by Congress when they reaffirmed the Voting Rights Act, the court gutted it. What happened to the “judicial restraint” that each of these appointed justices talked about in their hearings?

How can they presume — based on questionable evidence — that the formula used in the law is no longer applicable?

Having the law in place in and of itself prevented discrimination in the states that were covered. Without it, things will go right back to the bad old days — when minorities got the short end of the political stick. If their extremist ideology had not blinded them, the justices would have seen this fact to be true.

JACK BERNARD, MONTICELLO

SURVEILLANCE

Disclosure might help deter terror attempts

Edward Snowden’s release of intelligence information has presented a fascinating instance of political-public debate. Was his disclosure regarding federal programs to obtain phone call, Internet and other information harmful or beneficial? That is not a simple question.

We are now aware of the structure and dynamics of the efforts to head off terrorist activities. We know the tremendous cost related to making us safe. Now we have an idea of where a substantial amount of those expenditures are directed.

We are told some 50 plots have been uncovered. Are the activities harmful to our interests? For those who think so, consider the impact the information may have on prospective terrorists.    Is this comparable to police cars checking speeders, though they are required to be visible instead of hidden? That does cut down on speeders. The disclosure could reduce the time wasted on simple, careless plots.

STANLEY E. HARRIS JR., SAVANNAH

FIREARMS

TV bears blame for spurring gun violence

Maureen Dowd’s playful essay on why we love zombie shows is another example of how Americans delude themselves about gun violence (“I’ll bite: Looking at our fascination with zombies,” Opinion, June 23). We love shows featuring guns and gunplay, but when a real-life tragedy occurs, the only thing we can think to do is to control the guns.

The mere presence of a gun does not motivate murder any more than a can of gasoline motivates arson. The motivation to shoot people comes from programs we see daily on TV.

Consider the popular “Walking Dead” series, where killing human-looking zombies is rampant. This show now includes a youth doing the killing. How ironic that you will see unlimited gun mayhem in this show, but you won’t see much cigarette smoking. The producers seem to fear that might motivate others to smoke.

Debates on gun control cannot be taken seriously unless they include discussion on the entertainment industry’s relentless teaching of gun violence.

JEFFREY LAHM, STONE MOUNTAIN

FALCONS STADIUM

Venue may not outlast modest historic church

Once more, Atlanta seems ready to shove history aside in pursuit of glitter and short-term gain, proposing that a new Falcons stadium gobble up Friendship Baptist Church.

The option Mayor Reed proposes (“Church may not have to move,” Metro, June 27) is a step in the right direction. If a vast new stadium is erected right next to the modest church, it will only overshadow it briefly, in the great scheme of things.

I have no doubt the stadium will be pulled down in a few decades, when the next generation of Philistines comes along.

COLM MULCAHY, ATLANTA

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