Letters: Misguided worship of firearms; Demonization of China

Misguided worship of firearms

If you weren’t outraged at the latest mass killing in our country, this time in Nashville, there’s something wrong. From Tuesday’s CDT, “In 2022, Guns & Ammo — a magazine dedicated to firearms and ammunition — ranked Tennessee as the 12th-best state in the country for gun owners. The state recently allowed residents to carry handguns in public without a permit. State officials are considering lowering the age to carry handguns without a permit from 21 to 18, according to the AP.”

This year, only 3 months old, over 9,642 gun-related deaths have occurred.

The absolute best article I have ever read about gun violence was written by Dan Thomasson (columnist for Scripps-Howard News Service) and appeared in 2015. Thomasson ponders a society that licenses drivers, dog owners, even access to fishing, opposes almost any effort to control the manufacture, sale and distribution of lethal firearms. This “idolatry of the firearm was based on the interpretation of a constitutional amendment written by men who had no concept of what the future might bring in the development and power of these objects ... which at the time were still primitive one-shot affairs needed to supply food and form protective militias in a wilderness with little or no standing army.”

Our current GOP lawmakers, under the thrall of the NRA, continue in their delusion of the sanctity of the second amendment. Their worship of firearms is not only seriously misguided; it signals an unstable society that persists in sowing the seeds of its destruction.

Gina Leon, State College

Demonization of China

The increasing demonization of China is disturbing. Not just a dot on a Pentagon map, China is a proud nation of over one billion people. Having lived and worked there, my appreciation for its history, culture, problems and beauty makes me reject the hostility espoused by so many American politicians. Our media joins in this, painting false or incomplete narratives. In summer 2008, for instance, while CNN, Fox News, and other media reported armed soldiers on every Beijing street corner, I walked through the city seeing nary a one.

More importantly, rarely do Americans hear of the deadly terrorist attacks conducted in recent years by Chinese separatist groups. Instead, we must simply accept shaky claims of “genocide” conducted by China’s government. And today, our politicians and media cross party lines to tell us to forget the First Amendment — TikTok must be banned! What other “threatening apps” might our government ban?

Regarding Taiwan, China views it as a province and America acknowledges China’s claim. For 50 years China and Taiwan have peacefully negotiated for reunification. Yet America escalates tension by encouraging its Asian allies to prepare for war. What good can this possibly do? Sadly, it seems politicians of every stripe believe they can promote American unity by stoking flames of war, in Europe as well as China. I will no longer be fooled by this charade.

Roger Shouse, State College

PSU finances top issue for candidate

I’m concerned most alumni are unaware of the deficit and structural financial issues Penn State faces. This situation is serious and represents a grave risk to Penn State’s future.

The board of trustees must be the catalyst for growing revenues, reducing costs, and replenishing reserves. Here are three actionable initiatives that have strong potential to yield meaningful new “non-tuition” revenues:

  1. Corporate partnerships. Penn State has existing partnerships. We need more, and they should generate more financial contribution. All agreements should be renegotiated every 2-3 years to realize greater benefits.

  2. “Non-alumni” parent giving. Many “non-alumni” parents quickly become enthusiastic and engaged Penn Staters. This is a large untapped opportunity that needs focused attention and resources to realize the significant potential it represents.

  3. State appropriations. The breadth of PSU’s economic impact on the commonwealth supports increased annual appropriations. Now is the moment to rally students, alumni and faculty to advocate with state elected officials for greater investment in Penn State.

As a candidate for trustee, I have prioritized stabilizing Penn State’s finances as my top issue. The board must act now to tackle these challenges.

Many fellow alums have asked me “what can I do to help?” Here are three suggestions: get informed; make an unrestricted annual contribution; and have a “voice” by voting in the upcoming alumni election April 10 to May 4.

For information on my platform and relevant experience, visit kc4psutrustee.com.

Kevin F. Carey, Annapolis, Maryland. The author is a candidate for alumni-elected trustee.

Support Demo for school board

As Election Day draws near, I would like people to understand that voting for school board members may seem insignificant but could not be farther from the truth. For example, Anne Demo is running for a spot on the school board and here are just some of her credentials. I had the pleasure of working with Anne when she was a special education paraprofessional at Mount Nittany Middle School. She has a background in higher education but is equally at home with middle schoolers. Her ability to make her students feel comfortable and heard, her talent for relating to the teaching staff and other paras, and her knack for being able to meld those talents make her uniquely qualified for a position on the school board. She will bring an understanding of what teachers and staff deal with on a daily basis and will be an asset to the board simply because she has a practical understanding of how important it is for the board to have a representative with practical experience and knowledge. Please vote responsibly on Election Day and make Anne Demo the next member of State College Area School District’s school board.

Deborah Ritter, Pennsylvania Furnace