YOU SAY: let­ters to the ed­i­tor

Austin American-Statesman - - VIEWPOINTS -

Ad­dress shoot­ing tragedy

An­other mass shoot­ing; is it OK yet to have a dis­cus­sion on the ac­tions we can take as a na­tion to re­duce th­ese tragic events? Let’s get past the usual ar­gu­ments — “Guns don’t kill peo­ple, peo­ple do,” or “If some­one in the school had a gun this could have been pre­vented.” — and take a rea­soned ap­proach to this grow­ing prob­lem. Yes, pas­sions are high but this is pre­cisely the time to act. To­day is the day. Dar­ius Ter­rell

Austin

Stand up to NRA

How many more in­no­cent by­s­tanders will die be­fore po­lit­i­cal lead­ers of this coun­try stand up to the NRA and have mean­ing­ful dis­cus­sions to tighten our gun laws? In­stead, gun con­trol laws are off the ta­ble so that gun zealots can en­joy play­ing with their toys, re­gard­less the cost of in­no­cent lives.

Many will ar­gue that the guns used in Con­necti­cut would not have been im­pacted by re­strict­ing rapid-fire au­to­matic ri­fles. But, could re­strict­ing the types of clips used in the guns have helped to re­duce the num­ber of fa­tal­i­ties? I sup­pose the NRA and its fol­low­ers will have a dif­fer­ent so­lu­tion. Teach­ers (or even the kids) should be al­lowed to carry con­cealed weapons on school grounds. Gil­berto Men­doza

Austin

Back­ground checks

If we can­not con­trol the sale of au­to­matic weapons and other firearms, we can at least get tougher on the back­ground check and ex­tend the wait­ing pe­riod. Why wait for the next dis­as­ter? It could hap­pen right here in our back­yard. Sports­men don’t use the kind of weapons that mass mur­der­ers do.

Bill Shaw bevo1@utexas.edu

Austin

Post­par­tum ster­il­iza­tion

Re: Dec. 9 ar­ti­cle, “Pub­lic health, re­li­gion col­lide.”

Only one thing was miss­ing from Ralph K.M. Haurwitz and Mary Ann Roser’s ex­cel­lent re­port­ing on the im­pacts of Catholic own­er­ship of our pub­lic hospi­tal in Austin and the pri­mary teach­ing hospi­tal for the new UT Med­i­caid School: While fu­ture med­i­cal stu­dents and res­i­dents may re­ceive their women’s health train­ing in other fa­cil­i­ties, the women and men re­ceiv­ing care in Catholic-owned pub­lic hos­pi­tals do not have ac­cess to the same level of care as they would in non-re­li­giously af­fil­i­ated in­sti­tu­tions. This is par­tic­u­larly ev­i­dent in the case of ac­cess to post­par­tum fe­male ster­il­iza­tion. Fe­male ster­il­iza­tion is used by 38 per­cent of women who have chil­dren and statewide, post­par­tum ster­il­iza­tions fol­low more than 10 per­cent of de­liv­er­ies. How­ever, un­der cur­rent Se­ton pol­icy, 0 per­cent of the more than 7,000 women who de­liver each year in any of the four Se­ton-owned hos­pi­tals with high de­liv­ery vol­umes in Austin can ac­cess post­par­tum ster­il­iza­tion. Joseph E. Pot­ter and Amanda J. Steven­son

Austin steve­nam@prc.utexas.edu

Be­ware what you vote for

Lots of “gloat­ing” go­ing on by Democrats. Hope they feel the same way a few years from now. Na­tional debt ap­proach­ing $20 tril­lion, 47 per­cent ex­ceed­ing 50 per­cent, un­em­ploy­ment not im­prov­ing, price of gas not down to $1.83 per gal­lon when Pres­i­dent Barack Obama took of­fice.

Obama care, in­creased pre­mi­ums and taxes. Those of y’all ap­proach­ing Medi­care will have dif­fi­culty find­ing a doc­tor. Ef­fec­tive the first of the year, Obama is re­duc­ing by 27 per­cent re­im­burse­ment to doc­tors, not to men­tion the num­ber of busi­nesses that will fire em­ploy­ees, re­duce their pay, or in­crease their health­care con­tri­bu­tions so they can af­ford Obama care. More than 6,000 new reg­u­la­tions, some al­ready tak­ing place and the rest ex­pected to be­come the “law of the land” in 2013? In­creased taxes? I’ll sub­mit an up­date “let­ter” to­ward the end of 2012 so you can cel­e­brate (?) your vote for Obama. Bob Var­shal

Austin

Se­ton care and taxes

Re: Dec. 13 let­ter to the ed­i­tor, “Se­ton’s char­ity care.”

Se­ton’s char­ity and re­al­ity: The writer as­serts that the hun­dreds of mil­lions in char­ity dol­lars spent by Se­ton ev­ery year don’t come from tax­pay­ers. Well, I’m a tax­payer and had her­nia surgery at Se­ton North­west a few years ago. I en­tered the hospi­tal at 6 a.m. and was done and out by 9:30 a.m. The cost for 31/2 hours in the hospi­tal? $10,000. And that didn’t in­clude the sur­geon or the anes­the­si­ol­o­gist. My share, af­ter in­surance, was $5,900. An as­so­ciate of mine had an emer­gency af­ter a mi­nor traf­fic ac­ci­dent and went to Se­ton emer­gency. Her bill for a half-hour stay. $3,400. Not a joke, but the truth. And that’s where all this hun­dreds of mil­lions in char­ity are coming from; we, the tax­pay­ers, paying ex­or­bi­tant med­i­cal bills.

Water vs. rice crop

Re: Dec. 13 ar­ti­cle, “Drought could be­come worst ever, they say.”

Here’s an easy way to de­cide which side the state needs to be on in the bat­tle over who gets the ever-dwin­dling sup­ply of water in the High­land Lakes chain. Can you live with­out rice? You bet. Can you live with­out water? Not so much. Politi­cians need to grow a spine and make it clear that ship­ping thou­sands of acrefeet of pre­cious water hun­dreds of miles south to help grow one of the most wa­ter­in­ten­sive crops on Earth is not go­ing to hap­pen un­til the lakes are full again. Pe­riod. Joe Piscitelli

Le­an­der Bill Schiff mann

Lago Vista

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