Let’s talk intent
If Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s conclusion that the reference to “sex” in Title VII legislation applies only to one’s biological status as male or female, doesn’t it follow that the reference to “arms” in the Second Amendment applies only to muzzle-loading muskets and flintlock pistols? (Aug. 27, 1A, “Schmitt: Federal law doesn’t ban LGBTQ discrimination”)
There are ways
President Donald Trump has said that the reasons for mass shootings in the United States are mental illness and violent video games. The amazing thing is Republicans have been saying this for years, and yet they do nothing about it. The reason is clear: It wouldn’t work.
Every industrialized country in the world has mental illness and violent video games. They don’t have mass shootings because they have laws restricting the use of many guns.
Anyone who has read the Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller knows that we can sensibly restrict the use of firearms, and can in fact ban many of them. We passed a law banning assault rifles in the past, and we can do it again.
The sentence, “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people,” is not true. Guns were invented to kill people, replacing daggers, swords and the bow and arrow on the battlefield.
We need new gun laws or the mass shootings will continue.
Safer sleep for kids
The Vital Signs Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that 3,500 sleep-related deaths occur yearly, about 2,000 of which are unrelated to sudden infant death syndrome. Some of these deaths can be linked to the fact that 61% of parents report co-sleeping with children.
With celebrities championing co-sleeping, it can be difficult for the average parent to know what is the best practice for safe sleeping. Indeed, actress Mayim Bialik published a book outlining her use of the “attachment parenting” method, explaining that she decided to share the family bed with her two sons to secure the greatest bond with her children. In an online article, she claimed that sharing a bed with her children was totally safe.
Unfortunately, as the American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents, sharing the same sleep surface with your infant can never be considered safe.
Parents who follow the attachment parenting method can instead use a bassinet or crib close to the bedside. They can then maintain close physical presence while their children sleep on a firm surface, with no soft blankets nearby, without the possibility of a sleeping adult rolling on them.
It’s not about guilt
Thanks to Leonard Pitts Jr. for his column, “Yes, you need to hear ‘how hard it was for the slaves,’” on Aug. 21. (4A) Like the Holocaust for Germany, slavery is the United States’ darkest epoch. Like the Holocaust, it needs not only to be remembered but continually explored and discussed — bringing new aspects to light, discovering new ways we were and are affected and exploring how it continues to inflict damage on all of us.
Although it’s not easy to hear stories of the treatment of slaves or to watch movies or read books that contain true accounts, it is clear that we need to do so — not to create guilt, a useless sentiment, but to create change beyond chanting “never again.”
In the case of U.S. slavery, an answer has been proposed numerous times: reparations. As a white person, I may not be “responsible” for what my ancestors did (although I would assert there is a moral responsibility to accept and acknowledge the truth of what happened), but I would gladly participate in a reparations process that includes the South African model of truth-and-reconciliation sessions, as well as other means of restoration of justice in our country.
I’m grateful for Pitts’ words and hope we both live long enough to see true change.
A faithful plea
As a person of faith, I’m concerned that the energy demands of our economy are sacrificing our future and that our vulnerable neighbors will be hit the hardest.
That’s why we need a 100% clean energy economy. We need an economy that no longer pollutes our communities and no longer exploits the environment and people with no regard for the common good.
Although the commitment of businesses, nonprofits and individuals to clean energy is essential, we also need our federal government on board to make this happen.
I hope Sens. Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts as well as Rep. Sharice Davids will support a 100% clean energy economy in Congress and urge their colleagues to do the same.