The Washington Post Sunday - - SUNDAY OPINION - dlet­ters@ wash­post. com

Should gun shops be near schools?

Re­gard­ing the Oct. 6 Metro ar­ti­cle “McLean gun shop opens near ele­men­tary school”:

Fair­fax County Su­per­vi­sor John Foust and other gun op­po­nents should con­sider the like­li­hood that ab­sent the up­roar, most ele­men­tary school stu­dents would have paid no at­ten­tion to the gun shop si­t­u­ated near their school. I have driven by the lo­ca­tion four times since it opened and had not no­ticed it. Also, chil­dren learn­ing lock­down drills has noth­ing to do with the gun shop’s pres­ence. Hav­ing law-abid­ing gun own­ers nearby might pro­tect stu­dents in the un­likely event of a law­break­ing shooter at the school or might de­ter such a shooter.

To para­phrase Vance Gore, the PTA pres­i­dent, a law-abid­ing gun owner will join him be­tween the chil­dren and any­one who would hurt them.

Chip Watkins, Ar­ling­ton

How the speak­er­ship should work

Re­gard­ing the Oct. 9 front-page ar­ti­cle “A vac­uum at the top for House GOP”:

This sham­bolic bat­tle to choose a new House speaker could be the ideal time to re­vert to the in­tent of the Con­sti­tu­tion’s framers. The Con­sti­tu­tion makes no al­lowance for party pol­i­tics in choos­ing a speaker — or any other post, in­clud­ing pres­i­dent. The Found­ing Fathers hoped that the na­tion would es­cape par­ti­san pol­i­tics.

In cre­at­ing the po­si­tion of speaker, they drew on their ex­pe­ri­ence with Bri­tish par­lia­men­tary pro­ce­dure. There, a speaker re­signs from his or her party when tak­ing the post and pre­sides above the po­lit­i­cal fray. Imag­ine a brave mod­er­ate re­nounc­ing his or her cur­rent af­fil­i­a­tion and ral­ly­ing prag­ma­tists to forge a work­ing ma­jor­ity based on cen­trist, in­clu­sive pol­i­tics.

This is what dis­af­fected vot­ers are look­ing for when they rally to non­tra­di­tional politi­cians in the pres­i­den­tial race. Would it be too much to ask our elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives to em­brace the Con­sti­tu­tion, the good of the na­tion and their fel­low leg­is­la­tors? Pope Fran­cis didn’t think so, nor do most Amer­i­cans.

John McNa­mara, Der­wood

D.C. fam­i­lies need a voucher choice

Miss­ing from the Oct. 9 Metro ar­ti­cle “8 on coun­cil seek end to pri­vate school vouch­ers” were the voices of fam­i­lies and stu­dents who have ben­e­fited from the D.C. Op­por­tu­nity Schol­ar­ship, a life-chang­ing path to a bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion and a brighter fu­ture. Those voices, it seems, were also miss­ing from con­ver­sa­tions in the Wil­son Build­ing that led a ma­jor­ity of the D.C. Coun­cil to speak out against the pro­gram on be­half of their con­stituents.

Even with public school choices avail­able to a grow­ing num­ber of res­i­dents through the Dis­trict’s strong com­mu­nity of char­ter schools, too many D.C. fam­i­lies re­main tied to their as­signed neigh­bor­hood schools, some of which have been fail­ing kids for gen­er­a­tions. The coun­cil mem­bers who de­cry the schol­ar­ship pro­gram are us­ing it as a po­lit­i­cal football (again) and an op­por­tu­nity to spout a home-rule agenda.

They should look be­yond their own po­lit­i­cal am­bi­tions and lis­ten to the sto­ries of thou­sands of their con­stituents who have been of­fered a life­line out of fail­ing schools and have formed the foun­da­tion of a stronger fu­ture be­cause of the D.C. Op­por­tu­nity Schol­ar­ship pro­gram and its sup­port.

Kara Ker­win, Washington The writer is pres­i­dent of the Cen­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion Re­form.

Mr. Obama’s game of inches

In his Oct. 6 Fine Print col­umn, “How the Krem­lin might just vin­di­cate Obama” [ The Fed Page], Wal­ter Pincus quoted Pres­i­dent Obama as say­ing about Syria, “We will find our­selves ei­ther do­ing just a lit­tle bit and not mak­ing a dif­fer­ence and los­ing cred­i­bil­ity that­way, or find­ing our­selves drawn in deeper and deeper into a sit­u­a­tion that . . . we can’t sus­tain.” Mr. Obama has been do­ing a lit­tle bit, spend­ing mil­lions of dol­lars and not mak­ing a dif­fer­ence, and we have lost cred­i­bil­ity.

Mr. Obama’s strat­egy of con­tain­ing the Is­lamic State and sup­port­ing the rebels in Syria is not pro­vid­ing re­sults other than a mass civil­ian ex­o­dus flood­ing Europe.

Now with Rus­sia in the mix, the United States may very well be drawn into sit­u­a­tions that we can­not con­trol, forc­ing us to be re­ac­tive vs. proac­tive.

Not only is Mr. Obama not lead­ing, but he also is not even lead­ing from be­hind.

Joe Ang­sten, Manas­sas

Take Amer­ica out of the Mideast

Re­gard­ing the Oct. 8 news ar­ti­cle “Obama apol­o­gizes to head of Doc­tors With­out Borders”:

There is away out of our Mid­dle East quag­mire, if Washington would pay at­ten­tion to what most Amer­i­cans want: no more U.S. in­volve­ment in the Mid­dle East.

First, we need to let Rus­sia be­come the bad guy that Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin wants it to be in Syria. We have no hope of solv­ing that cri­sis, but we shouldn’t make things worse by in­dis­crim­i­nate bomb­ing, and all bomb­ing where we don’t know who’s who is in­dis­crim­i­nate. It’s un­for­tu­nate that af­ter 14 years we con­tinue to bomb Afghanistan, ig­nor­ing the les­son that the Rus­sians learned and we should have, just as Rus­sia re­turns to the same failed pol­icy in Syria.

Sec­ond, and in keep­ing with most Amer­i­cans’ gen­eros­ity, we can make things bet­ter by spend­ing those re­sources help­ing mil­lions of dis­placed per­sons, whether they’re in Jor­dan, Tur­key, Europe or even Syria. In the long run, we’ll be safer and our dam­aged karma might be re­newed.

John Schaefer, Ar­cata, Calif.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.