You SAY: Letters to the editor
Happy holidays, all
Re: Dec. 16 letter to the editor, “Call it Christmas!”
There’s a reason I say “happy holidays” and “the holiday season.” My faith celebrates a major holy day at this time of year, too. This is a sacred season for many faiths. It’s also the season of New Year, which is a secular holiday. Relax: Recognizing that the rest of us also celebrate at this time of year is not an attack on your faith. The holiday season is something that we all have in common.
I wish people “Merry Christmas” only if I’m certain that they celebrate Christmas. Since I’m not Christian, I don’t guess about what others celebrate. So I say “Happy holidays” if I don’t know for sure. If you’re offended by my heartfelt expression of goodwill, that’s your choice. Happy holidays!
Jesus’ story endures
Re: Dec. 16 letter to the editor, “Call it Christmas!”
This letter is intended to be a tribute to all those who regard Christmas to be about Jesus. We hear so much about the war on Christmas, and, it should be a concern to all Christians, but my answer to those who have the desire to see Christmas moved into history, your efforts have been in vain.
For the past 2,000 years, people have set aside a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I don’t suppose anyone can say for sure Dec. 25 is the absolute correct day, but that doesn’t matter. Christians celebrate out of faith in the fact that their savior was born, and is still alive. There are those who spend valuable time trying to abolish manger scenes, Santa, the evergreen tree and many other things pertaining to Christmas. To the believer, it’s about Jesus.
Trail of Lights welcome
The Austin Trail of Lights began again at the perfect time to brighten our community following the traumatic event in Newtown, Conn. The happy, cheerful faces of children of all ages are a living tribute to our city leaders, companies, individuals, especially Paul Carrozza, and many local nonprofit organizations that are featured for the first time.
Even the families waiting patiently in line to enter the trail seemed content just to be together in anticipation of a wonderful experience.
Brits and textbooks
Re: Dec. 14 letter to the editor, “Onerous tests.”
The tests are bad enough, but why in the world would a British company have a $468 million contract for them? We outsource public toll roads to a Spanish company and now we are allowing Pearson, a British company, to dictate to our public schools. For (more) shame, Texas.
I certainly understand the calls for action. But instead of simply falling in line with the “we-need-gun-controlnow” crowd, I would suggest we consider a more poignant question: Why have these events been happening in only the past 30 years or so? After all, guns have been a part of this country for 200plus years. Why now? The vast majority of gun owners are responsible, law-abiding citizens.
What’s changed in our society and in the way we conduct our lives that could be contributing to these senseless acts of violence? The “weneed-gun-control-now” crowd offers to cure a disease by taking a pill to treat a symptom as though we’re a country of homicidal maniacs that simply needs to be disarmed. What’s causing the disease? That’s where the answer lies. And God help us, the answer may be rather unsettling.
Address mental illness
I think we need to understand that the real problem with mass murders is not guns but mentally deranged people with guns or other weapons. The largest mass murders in U.S. history didn’t even involve guns. The 1995 Oklahoma federal building bombers used a farm fertilizer and diesel fuel bomb. The 9/11 mass murderers used box knives to hijack planes which they then flew into buildings, killing almost 3,000. Mentally deranged persons will always find weapons to use.
The solution is to identify and get help/treatment for these mentally deranged people. Where guns are banned crime goes up, not down, because the criminals know the citizens are unable to defend themselves. Every time that a mass murder has occurred it has been in a place where guns were banned. The murderers knew nobody there could shoot back.
Carbon tax needed
Re: Dec. 15 commentary, “Global warming fatal to trees.”
I hold a Ph.D. in biology. When you are trained as a biologist you think of the Earth as a large-scale ecosystem, much as a doctor thinks of a human body as a complex organized system. The Earth is running a fever. It’s lowgrade now, maybe around 101; if it were my own, I might still be hoping to get in to work. But the Earth’s fever is caused by the burning of fossil fuels. This fever is not going to subside; it’s only going to keep going up, unless we stop the burning.
It’s a simple as that. As Halter says, we’ve already heated the Earth up half as much as we can before its forests succumb.
Fortunately we can stop the burning, but only through policy that makes economic sense. We must build the political will for a carbon tax, and we must do it now. The Austin American-Statesman encourages email and faxes from readers. Please include a full name, address and daytime and evening phone numbers.We edit letters for brevity, grammar, style and clarity. Edited letters address a single idea and do not exceed 150 words.Anonymous letters will not be published. Letters become property of the Austin AmericanStatesman. Send emails to letters@ statesman.com. Mail to: Letters to the Editor, P.O. Box 670,Austin,TX 78767.