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The Public Pulse: Questions about rights; Arming teachers; Drowning in profits

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Questions about rights

Our government is concerned about the right to bear arms. What about the right to go to school and able to come home? Or the right to attend church/synagogue? The right to go to a grocery store? Who is protecting the rights of these individuals? If our government feels the cause of gun violence is mental health, then why do barriers exist for those to receive services?

Ann Febres, La Vista

Arming teachers

In the wake of another school shooting, we have the same clueless calls for teachers to be armed. Let’s walk through the list of reasons why this is a horrible idea:

1.) As the World-Herald has noted, teacher burnouts and resignations are reaching historic highs. On top of all of their other duties, we are now going to add firearm proficiency? Do you think this is going to slow or hasten the rate of teachers leaving the profession?

2.) How many accidental discharges and on-campus suicides are going to result because we’ve now added additional guns to the equation?

3.) This does nothing to remove the problem at hand — a monster with a firearm. All it may potentially do is reroute that shooter from a school to a mall or an office building or somewhere else to cause catastrophe. The concept that the problem here is purely mental is a ruse — other countries have people with mental issues and broken families but (for some reason) they don’t have the mass shootings like the United States does.

This supposed “solution” is nothing but an attempt to up sales for gun manufacturers, as there are almost four million teachers in the country who would need to be armed should this foolish idea pass. Happy to debate Jim Pillen on the topic, but as we know debates just aren’t his thing.

Michael Zack, Omaha

Drowning in profits

You may be happy to hear that not everyone is suffering from high gas prices. Oil and gas corporations, while continuing to lobby, are drowning in profits. Here are the profit’s for the first quarter of 2022 for five of the largest oil and gas corporations in the world:

Shell, $9.1 billion

ExxonMobil, $8.8 billion

Chevron, $6.5 billion

BP, $6.2 billion

ConocoPhillips, $4.3 billion

Instead of making the investments needed to help lower the price of oil, they reward their already wealthy shareholders with stock buybacks, or give it back to themselves in executive bonuses. I know it’s popular to blame the president for high inflation. But, wouldn’t it be worthwhile to look at the greed which underlies so many of our private institutions? Oil billionaires can argue that capitalism allows them to charge whatever the market can bear. But, if this isn’t price gouging, then I don’t know what is.

Robert Bastarache, Omaha

OWH Public Pulse May 2022

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Pulse writer says pass gun legislation now.

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Pulse writer gives praise for article on the failed prison reform movement.

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Pulse writers continue to lament on the increasing gun violence and the lack of solutions from elected officials.

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Pulse writer calls on U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse to support reproductive freedom.

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Pulse writers come to grips with a deadly school shooting in Texas.

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Pulse writer says getting rid of the independence of our own judiciary makes it easier to get rid of democracy here.

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Pulse writer thanks Omaha for welcoming him during Bruce Crawford's annual film series benefit.

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Pulse writer praises state senators for passing legislation to help neglected areas of Omaha get much needed resources for redevelopment.

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Pulse writer says the tax breaks provided by LB 873 will help the majority of Nebraska residents.

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The mascots used in the Bellevue Public Schools are a misrepresentation of Native Americans and should be changed, Pulse writer says.

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Pulse writer is critical of the tax collection projections set by the Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board.

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Pulse writer sounds off on Gov. Pete Ricketts' interview on abortion legislation.

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Pulse writers sound off on the projected number of teachers resigning from Omaha Public Schools.

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A Pulse writer questions why independent voters were not allowed to cast ballots in the Republican gubernatorial candidate race.

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Pulse writer praises a bill that contains a provision to eliminate all Nebraska state taxes on Social Security benefits by 2025.

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Trickle-down economics doesn’t happen because there is too much corporate greed, Pulse writer says.

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Pulse writer says Ricketts' two terms as governor were an eight-year disaster.

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Pulse writer says ISS actively promotes harsh restrictions which threaten the livelihoods of dedicated workers in Nebraska as well as food security across the nation.

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Pulse writers give their thoughts on the zipper merge method.

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Pulse writer believes that Farnam Street may actually be safer during one-way traffic than two-way.

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Pulse writers say it is likely that a significant number of Americans will seek abortions whether they are legal or not, and that doing so could cause injuries and fatalities to many women.

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Pulse writers weigh in on candidates and issues prior to the May 10 primary election.

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Pulse writers weigh in on abortion rights and the leaked draft of a Supreme Court abortion opinion that would overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

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Pulse writer says just because a person isn’t "acting" like a victim doesn't mean he or she is not a victim.

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Pulse writer poses a comparison question about ORBT.

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Brad Ashford focused on issues, not on partisanship, Pulse writer and retired World-Herald columnist says.

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