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The Public Pulse: Sasse needs to do the right thing; Tax dollars at work; Ban assault weapons

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Dear Ben Sasse

I am writing to beg Sen. Sasse to vote in favor of the bill proposed by the House that would strengthen background checks on individuals wanting guns.

Although I am not a Republican, I have respected your ability to stand up to your party and do what is right in condemning the divisive, hateful rhetoric of our former president. I have hope that you will do the right thing when it comes to working with the House to begin the process of meaningful gun reform. You can support the Second Amendment and still believe that the laws currently in place are not strong enough to keep guns out of the hands who want to murder children at school or shoppers at grocery stores. For example, the U.K. has strict gun laws, and 2022 stats show they have lost 155 people this year to gun-related deaths (more suicides than homicides). People can have guns there, but it is well-regulated. The number for the United States is 40,175.

Show that you value our children by taking steps to protect them. Surely, the lives of the 21 innocent people who will be buried in Texas are worth more than the $73,573 you accepted from the NRA.

As a school teacher, I know there are circumstances in which grades do not matter. In light of the most recent school shooting and the many others that have come before it, the “A” rating you earned from the NRA is not one to be proud of. Please work with the House on this very important piece of legislation. The only good that can come from this tragedy is a change in our ineffective gun laws, a change that you can be a part of if you choose to do the right thing.

Danielle Reinhardt-Sigler, O’Neill

Matter of priorities

Politicians voted to give (not loan) $40 billion to help Ukraine protect their citizens. What could have happened if they had decided instead to spend the money to secure the safety of our own children?

One must wonder: where does our representatives’ priorities lie? It seems their “Americans first” attitude is lacking. So now we mourn the death of 19 children and two teachers. Has anyone heard of a national plan to solve it?

The irony is the biggest obstacle is the lack of funds to implement the changes needed. In the end we can clearly see it’s a matter of priorities. We are the ones who choose the people that set them, so in reality, the responsibility falls upon us and we should be the ones who set the priorities.

Donald Busenbark, 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.

Bureaucratic inefficiency

Last month, I was sitting in the “state of the art” DMV office in Sarpy County and everything had come to a stop. Seems the internet was down and no one had a backup plan.

Sixteen empty customers service windows, 50 plus employees talking while their “customers” missed valuable work time. Meanwhile, not a word from management about when system will be back up. No backup plan to reschedule this vital function. Oh well, at least there’s time to disinfect. Your tax dollars at work.

Jeff Sena, Bellevue

Assault weapons issue

Tell me, what am I missing, or don’t understand?

Nobody is trying to stomp on your Second Amendment rights.

Whenever I hear talk about restricting assault rifles, gun rights people argue it means to take away all firearms. That has never been the case.

You will still be able to purchase hunting rifles, shotguns, black powder muskets and handguns with a permit and registration.

If there is need to fire off an assault military rifle, just join the National Guard or a gun club that holds the rifles in safe storage for you.

We don’t need militias for our country’s security. We already have that with the formation of the National Guard in each state.

Background checks and waiting periods are a no-brainer. It’s there to weed out the portion of population that shouldn’t own an assault rifle at all.

This is not a gun rights Second Amendment issue, it’s an assault weapons issue.

Richard Kowalski, Omaha

Not a democracy

The USA is not a democracy. By definition, a democracy is a system of government where all citizens have an equal voice or where all citizens are represented equally, typically through elected representatives.

Donald Trump never received a majority vote of approval from America’s citizens but was gifted the presidency following his initial campaign by a skewed electoral system. But when the same system was obligated to deny him a second term because of his obvious shortfall, Trump tried to use his influence to overturn an accurate and honest election.

An overwhelming majority of Americans favor stringent regulations governing the purchase and possession of firearms, legalization of marijuana and a woman’s right to choose. Yet, because citizens are so disproportionately represented in the U.S. Senate, the will of the people is being denied. Sparsely populated states elect the same number of senators as states with massive populations resulting in lopsided representation.

The Senate represents states, not people, and that is the problem. This nonsensical system marginalizes roughly 45,000,000 Americans or 15% of our population, allowing minority passions to deny majority aspirations. Then comes our revered Supreme Court, which is meant to be a body of brilliant, thoughtful and impartial jurists who interpret and rule on laws as they affect our country. Justices are not elected by the people but are appointed — for life. These appointments have become politicized; appointments are stolen and granted based on the appointee’s political views. The justices themselves make rulings based on their prejudices instead of the rule of law. Executive? Legislative? Judicial? Not a democracy.

David Mohs, Omaha

Constitutional hope

I suggest that it is schizophrenic to demand citizens give up their guns at the same time defund the police, drop bail and allow criminals to go free. Chicago as example, has the strongest gun control laws and the highest crime rate. What’s telling about this fact?

How are we to defend our families and ourselves if we can only depend upon a corrupt federal government?

The U.S. Constitution is our only hope.

Diane Davis, Omaha

Gun reform

Jim Pillen says that guns are not the problem. Are you crazy? No civilian has a legitimate reason to own an assault weapon. None. We already have a well-regulated militia. We have the National Guard, local police, state troopers and more.

Don’t even pretend to be “pro-life” if you can’t put in a modicum of effort to make the United States the civilized society that we claim to be. Enough. Keeping guns out of the hands of unstable people is only the beginning. Wake up, Nebraska.

Helen Jordon, Omaha

Gun politics

The gun lobby wants to turn our schools into armed fortresses. Followed by churches, theaters, supermarkets, hospitals, shopping centers, etc. Heaven help us if we go outside. They want us to become immune to the horrors of gun violence and deflect our attention from the weapons used. These are mass shootings. We don’t have mass stabbings, mass poisonings, mass clubbings. Until we solve the problem of 400 million guns among us, we can all become victims of gun violence — anytime and anywhere.

Birte Gerlings, Omaha

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