Don’t use deaths for your agenda
Leonard Pitts Jr. was absolutely wrong with his Tuesday column, “People are dying for nothing,” (9A) He diminishes the heroism and sacrifices of Kendrick Castillo, Riley Howell and Lori Gilbert-Kaye, who gave their own lives to save many others from the evil attacks of mass shooters.
To use their deaths as fodder for his own leftist, anti-Second Amendment agenda is disgraceful.
Pitts brought shame to himself with this commentary. And the Star-Telegram should not have published his diatribe.
The wrong target to focus on
I am a gun person. Unapologetically. Also, I have held Leonard Pitts in high esteem for years. But his Tuesday column illustrates a dark turn his writing has taken.
“Gun people” are not one amorphous mass to be glibly described in a few negative phrases or dismissed as unrealistic idealists. We, as a group and individually, are keenly aware of the misuse of firearms worldwide. We, too, grieve anyone’s sudden and catastrophic departure from this life.
Pitts’ column is little more than another drumbeat for action without thought, another emotional appeal for a quick fix to a big problem.
Let’s fix tragic and unnecessary deaths by drunken drivers. Then we’ll be in a far better position to deal with crimes of passion, whether by knife, bat or firearms.
A better system than the IRS
What is wrong with the IRS? Bribe payments were disguised as tax-deductible charitable contributions to Key Worldwide Foundation (which is at the center of the college-admissions scandal). (May 14, 6A, “Felicity Huffman pleads guilty in college admissions scheme”)
What criteria, if any, did the IRS use in certifying Key Worldwide as a charitable, and therefore deductible, organization? I would like to see its disbursement of funds and how much went to legitimate causes and not to make its directors rich.
This is just another reason to take a close look at the IRS and its power. Maybe it is also time to look at eliminating the IRS and our system of deductions, which has been politicized by the IRS, and move to a flat tax or a consumption-based tax.
A very low priority idea
In his April 16 column, “There’s no good reason prisoners shouldn’t vote,” (11A) Jamelle Bouie argues that nothing about committing a serious crime renders people incapable of making a considered political choice. When is murder or rape a rational decision? How is robbing someone at gunpoint a logical choice?
Voting is a citizen’s privilege and right. When convicted of heinous acts, criminals lose the right of freedom. Losing the right to vote too is not extreme.
You could convince me that after serving their sentences, the right to vote could be restored. Votes from prison create logistical and ethical questions. Inmates could be coerced to vote certain directions.
Of all our societal problems, the right of incarcerated murderers to vote isn’t in the top thousand.
Basic trade lessons needed
Lisa Benson’s editorial cartoon Wednesday accurately illustrated that we, the consumers, pay for President Donald Trump’s tariffs. (17A) Trump is lying when he says China pays them. Articles in the Star-Telegram have explained that we are paying for the tariffs through higher prices for goods made in China. It’s just another example of Trump misleading the American public.