LETTERS: On gun control, disabled firefighter and ‘toxic pollution’ in Louisiana

Gun control in America

There will be few statistics in this letter. There will be no mention of individual political parties or their motives, smoke, or mirrors; but there will be facts. We, as one of the supposedly more civilized countries in the world, kill our children and adults at an alarming rate with weapons designed for the military. We do little about it except complain and those complaints fall on the deaf ears of the politicians whose votes have been purchased by the NRA and weapons manufacturers.

We actually believe the alarmists, who assure us that any additional controls will result in the confiscation of all weapons and our country’s immediate invasion by foreign powers or tyrannical acts by our own government. Think for yourself, people, and use logic — not some parroted emotional phrase from the NRA handbook. Do you really think it is probable or even possible that could happen?

The USA has a gun problem. It must be solved quickly since the value of even one more child’s life is immeasurable and therefore worth more than that of all the AR-15s in civilian hands.

The embarrassing question is “How did we get to this point?” Why did we, elders, not recognize that we were being sold a bill of goods by individuals, organizations and the government? Why did we allow the perversion of our Constitution, by those with only self-interests at heart, when they imply that the Founding Fathers wanted us to have military-style automatic weapons in untrained, unregulated hands?

Why does it now take our students to tell us that this holocaust must stop? It is clear that they are looking to the future while we are living in our old comfortable past. We should listen carefully to their demands. It should be obvious to anyone who values life that it doesn’t matter how this proliferation is stopped only that it is stopped. Let’s lay it out; by resisting change the weapon manufacturers, NRA, and those bought politicians may well be condoning murder.

Ned Sheets, Mission

Harmful benzene

I am writing in support for the Mission Firefighter Homer Salinas who has kidney cancer. The Veterans Administration may have supporting documentation for his case.

The VA has identified the exposure to the chemical Benzene (same chemical in smoke exposure) as carcinogenic to the kidneys and will not only cover the medical expenses if diagnosed with cancer, but will also pay disability benefits. This pertains to veterans stationed at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina from the 1950s to 1980s, when the exposure was present.

My point is that the Veterans Administration has the studies and documentation drawing the link between exposure to benzene (and other toxic chemicals), and cancer (including kidney). I hope this information helps. Many thanks to The Monitor, Mission City manager, Mission Fire Department and politicians who are taking up the fight for Mr. Salinas.

Dr. Dale J. Whitzel, Mission

‘Toxic pollution’

Conservationists in Louisiana are currently fighting the Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners and their Bayou Bridge Pipeline project. Once again public servants have disgraced themselves by targeting the indigenous of Louisiana, their African-American communities, and those pauperized and displaced by the structural violence that is toxic pollution. They have disproportionately targeted them with undesirable facilities as they have for this past century with rampant resource extraction and the effects thereof. These residents are the ones who suffer, not the company representatives, not the politicians, and definitely not the affluent neighbors of these communities. Not only are their livelihoods threatened, but so are their wetlands, drinking water, and the natural heritage site that is the Atchafalaya Basin.

If Gov. John Bel Edwards and the others truly served the people, they would focus on the transition to renewable energy. They would refuse profit over human lives, and they would not allow Energy Transfer Partners to invade this land and its people as they did at Standing Rock. Energy Transfer Partners are not the good neighbors they say they are, they will not provide the jobs they say they will provide, and wealth would be distributed directly to them leaving these Louisiana residents with nothing. Stop the Bayou Bridge Pipeline. Do not sell out to this company and their associates.

Matthew Dillon Ozuna, New Orleans

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