Friday, December 8

Opinion | ‘Our Little Town’: A Fourth of July Parade Turned Deadly

To the Editor:

Re “Gunfire Tears Into a Parade Near Chicago” (front page, July 5):

Well, America, it has happened in our little town. You know our town, right? It’s the one people are sending thoughts and prayers to. It’s the town where people say, “We never thought this could happen here.” It’s the safe town with wonderful cops and a sense of community.

It’s the suburban town where everyone takes their kids in red wagons or on tricycles with streamers to watch the Fourth of July parade. It’s the town where people are shot randomly by someone with a rifle.

We are now in mourning. It’s now the town where pundits, who have never been here, will rattle swords and shriek to score points using dead people as chits. My town? It’s your town. It will happen again. Does this sound like freedom to you?

Kevin Tibbles
Highland Park, Ill.
The writer is a former NBC newsman.

To the Editor:

This Independence Day we hung at half-staff two of the six American flags that normally line our driveway every year. We did this to honor those six lives sacrificed in Highland Park.

Their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was usurped by the intentional misrepresentation of the Second Amendment by a minority of Americans. May all those who profess to be pro-life search their souls to examine their stance on gun legislation and what being pro-life actually means.

Marcella Woodworth
Venice, Fla.

To the Editor:

As Profs. Joseph Blocher and Darrell A.H. Miller point out in “Is a Musket Similar to an AR-15?” (Opinion guest essay, July 2), the Supreme Court’s recent politicized ruling only creates confusion.

Also Read  ‘Captive Audience’ revisits 1972 Steven Stayner kidnapping and his tragic end


Civilized states that protect their citizens with strong anti-gun regulations should simply ignore the court and reinforce those regulations. This will cause court case after court case, which could go on for years, maybe decades. For all that time their citizens will be protected from the gun crazies. And with luck by then there will be a more sensible Supreme Court.

Let’s not overlook the fact that the current interpretation of the Second Amendment is a willful misreading. The amendment has two parts. The first talks about the need for strong state militias — a concern at the time of the amendment’s adoption — and the second part, which depends on the first, talks about the right of individuals to own and bear arms. If the founders had not meant the second part to depend on the first, they would not have needed to include the first at all.

Michael Spielman
Wellfleet, Mass.

To the Editor:

Must each of us lose a loved one before the gun lobby is stopped?

Robert Davidson
New York

To the Editor:

Re “I’m a New York City Liberal, and I Want a Gun,” by Laura E. Adkins (Opinion guest essay,, June 30):

Ms. Adkins makes the case that she needs a handgun to protect herself from a former partner who has been harassing her. However, there are less lethal options for protecting oneself, such as stun guns, home security systems or taking self-defense classes.

Ms. Adkins states, “And as soon as I am able to legally buy and carry it without too much hassle, I look forward to sleeping soundly.” I hope she never has to shoot and kill someone. If she does, she may never sleep soundly again.

Also Read  NBA All-Star Weekend tips off in Cleveland amid snowstorm, coronavirus concerns

Paul R. Brown
Silver Spring, Md.

To the Editor:

Re “Jackson Takes Oath, Becoming First Black Woman on Supreme Court” (news article, July 1):

How sad that Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson is taking her place on the Supreme Court just as it has reached such a low point. She certainly deserves much better.

It will no doubt be very difficult for her to serve on a court with the majority quite willing to undo, with such problematic reasoning, so much that she has spent her life supporting.

Not only do they not seem to care about precedents, rights and the pain and even deaths their rulings will cause, but they also seem unconcerned about consistency in their justifications and about the embarrassment of citing as an expert on rights, in the Dobbs decision, someone who believed in witches and maintained that they should be tried and executed.

Perhaps they have power and simply don’t worry about what people, nationally and internationally, think of them. But I do, and I find their actions shameful and disgusting.

Linda Bell
Decatur, Ga.
The writer is emerita professor of philosophy and director of the Women’s Studies Institute, Georgia State University.

To the Editor:

Re “Violent Threats Continue Against Election Workers Despite Federal Efforts” (news article, June 30):

Election workers are a backbone of our democracy. From county to county, they are our neighbors, ensuring that the voices of this country are heard. But as detailed in your article, local and state election officials increasingly work under threats of violence and endure harassment and abuse. The apparent goal, even well before the fall midterms, is to get them to throw in the towel on their jobs or bow to pressure in other ways.

Also Read  Live Updates: House Holds Hearing on Gun Violence

None of this is good for our democracy. It’s also harmful to the dignity of these workers, who provide a civic function for little or no compensation. These are now unsafe jobs.

Task forces, like the federal Election Threats Task Force, are salutary, but their work needs to be highly visible and transparent to ensure that reporting mechanisms are known, deterrence is advanced and consequences are demonstrated.

State and local governments need to work in tandem with such efforts and better support these civic-minded champions more broadly. Local media need to prioritize reporting these stories. And neighbors need to treat neighbors in ways that honor the dignity — the inherent value and worth — of each other.

Jeffrey Siminoff
San Francisco
The writer is senior vice president, workplace dignity, at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *