LETTERS: On World Water Day today; the NRA and TB

The NRA is not ‘rational, respectful’

I believe Eduardo Estrada’s recent letter comparing the AAA, AMA and NRA is absurd. While the NRA has never been “directly” involved in any acts of violence, please note the following from an April 13, 1995, fundraising letter from NRA CEO Wayne La Pierre: “The semi-auto ban gives jack-booted government thugs more power to take away our Constitutional rights, seize our guns, and even injure or kill us.” He later referenced “Federal agents wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms to attack law-abiding citizens.”

Note that on April 19, 1995, the Oklahoma City federal building was bombed by NRA member Timothy McVeigh, killing 168 people. Obviously the rhetoric from the NRA is not the type of “rational, respectful and reasonable” dialogue espoused by Mr. Estrada.

Also note the following from a June 18, 2015, posting on texaschlforum.com by NRA Board Member Charles Cotton commenting on Pastor Pinckney, a member of the South Carolina Senate and one of the victims of the June 17, 2015, mass murder by Dylan Roof of nine congregates at a church gathering in Charleston: “And he voted against concealed-carry. Eight of his church members who might be alive if he had expressly allowed members to carry handguns in church are dead. Innocent people died because of his position on a political issue.” To me this is not a “rational, respectful and reasonable” thing to say a day after such a massacre.

Mr. Estrada refers to the NRA’s mission statement, which I haven’t read. However, for me the most famous “statement” that most know from the NRA was from its former Board President Charlton Heston, who at several NRA conventions bellowed about the government having to pry his rifle “from my cold dead hands.” This sounds vaguely threatening to me and again not the type of “rational, respectful and reasonable” dialogue espoused by Mr. Estrada.

Jim McNamara, McAllen

Today is World Water Day; go vegan

On today’s World Water Day, please do something that will help conserve water and keep our waterways clean: Go vegan. According to an article on NationalGeographic.com, the average vegan indirectly consumes nearly 600 gallons of water a day less than the average meat-eater. You can save more water by not eating a pound of meat than by not showering for six months. If that’s not enough to make you reach for a veggie burger rather than a hamburger, consider this: An environmental group spokesperson says that animal manure can be found “in the waters that we depend on for commerce, recreation and perhaps most importantly drinking.”

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that just one cow on a dairy farm produces 120 pounds of manure daily — the equivalent of the waste produced by 20 to 40 people. Yeah, holy s— is right!

While the meat, egg and dairy industries should be held accountable for wasting our resources and mucking up our waterways, we must all share in the responsibility for cleaning up our planet. We can help do this just by choosing healthy, humane vegan foods. Go to www.PETA.org for free recipes.

Heather Moore, PETA Foundation,

Norfolk, Virginia

Eradicate tuberculosis

As people fill out their March Madness brackets, we’re also approaching a little-known annual milestone: World Tuberculosis Day, which is March 24. The real madness is that we’ve allowed a treatable, curable infection, TB, to become the world’s leading infectious killer. Why does this curable disease still kill more than 4,000 people every single day? Why have we allowed it to remain a major cause and consequence of poverty? It’s because we haven’t made ending it a priority.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Right now, Congress is deciding what we’ll invest in this fight next year. I hope we can count on our senators and U.S. representative to fight for strong American funding to help end this epidemic. Its defeat would be a victory worth celebrating.

Tom Nieland, Alamo

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