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The Public Pulse: We need action against gun violence; Sex education; Mob mentality

The Public Pulse: We need action against gun violence; Sex education; Mob mentality

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The White House is weighing how best to move forward gun safety measures as the nation reels from its second mass shooting in a week.

Gun issue

Gov. Ricketts, you say (in "Ricketts opposes Biden gun plans", OWH article March 26) that the banning of guns will not solve "underlying problems that have resulted in these tragedies." I agree with this statement. Yet there are rage-filled people, drug dealers and people suffering from depression and other mental health disorders in Britain, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Poland, Spain — in fact, in every country in the world. But these other nations have only a tiny fraction of the gun violence we experience in our country. Why is that? Because they have far fewer guns available for committing deadly violence.

Why can't we do both, Governor -- work to address underlying issues that cause people to pick up a gun and use it to hurt or kill someone (often themselves), and make it more difficult for these same people to obtain a deadly weapon?

The majority of citizens (and responsible gun owners) want further gun regulations. You are out of step with the people, Governor, and your political rhetoric is ill-considered, irresponsible and unsupported by facts.

Anne Barker, Omaha

A need for action 

Gov. Ricketts says that gun control measures don’t solve the problem. If he has the answer then do something. When we as a nation decided that a room full of kindergartners torn apart by a high-powered military-style rifle wasn’t enough to try to protect our children, we were lost to the ridiculous politics of it all.

Cynthia Gregg, Oshkosh, Neb. 

Troubling proposal

The Nebraska Department of Education is proposing new standards for health education. The Nebraska State Board of Education is not required under state law to create health standards. If approved, they would only be recommended for adoption by local districts. The draft standards emphasize teaching children respect for people of all genders, gender expressions and gender identities. Beginning in kindergarten, students would begin learning about such situations. I believe children will be taught a lot of information that they are not nearly old enough to process.

Many times these days, we are told, “Follow the science.” If we were to do that, we would acknowledge that people can take many hormones and alter their body through surgery, but a DNA sample would say “male” or “female”, exactly what they were created to be.

I agree with Gov. Ricketts that these standards are more political than appropriate for children.

Dorie Marshall, Elkhorn

Mob mentality

Like all mammals, we swim in a sea of constantly evolving pathogens, sharing 26 diseases with poultry, 42 with pigs, and 50 with cattle. This time a virus jumped from bats to humans. It happens all the time, as virologists know.

A year ago, Peruvians set fire to bat caves in "revenge," and the practice spread globally despite protests from organic farmers who prefer to let bats eat their insect pests for free rather than spray insecticides, saving an estimated $3.7 billion a year in the U.S. But the killing of bats continues, torching their trees and caves -- more like the actions of a crazed mob, not rational human beings.

Experience with SARS, Ebola and MERS led the Obama administration to set up the National Security Council's U.S. Pandemic Response Team, headed by Rear Adm. R.T. Ziemer, dismantled in 2018 by Trump. So when the pandemic hit he was unprepared, and to deflect from his mismanagement Trump shifted blame. As soon as he began using terms like "Kung flu," "Wuhan flu" and "Chinese flu," hate crimes against Asian-Americans increased 150%.

When the CDC asked Trump to cease using such terms, he doubled down and the hate crimes escalated. In the last two months, there were at least 503 anti-Asian hate incidents reported. Violence against Asian-Americans as scapegoats for the pandemic continues -- again more like the actions of a crazed mob, not rational human beings.

Jim Bechtel, Omaha

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