As a social studies teacher, I had absolutely no fear of the end of days hysteria set in motion by countless misinterpretations of Mayan history.
However, I have a genuine fear that Donald Holloway may actually be serious in his letter where he advocates arming teachers (CHN, Dec. 19). I am saddened that such viewpoints surface in wake of horrific tragedies.
Extremism only polarizes humanity and often leads to more heartache. It is times like these when we need to be accountable for the culture we create in our society. In a time where mental illness is not provided necessary attention, children spend hours “playing” video games that reward the annihilation of human life, and the television/film industry fills screens with gun violence, we need to arm ourselves with more compassion and empathy.
Shall we arm students who need protection from bullies? Showdown at sunset on the blacktop, may the quickest draw survive?
It all reads like a bad dystopian novel. I am appalled, not only as an educator, but as a human. Please know that I will return to work in 2013 without any weapons.Mike Harris CarrboroTwo little Noahs
I am a proud American who firmly believes in the Second Amendment. Yet, in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., I find myself struggling to make sense of what this nation needs to do in order to ensure that no more of our children fall victim to senseless murder like the 20 of those who are now with our Heavenly Father.
As I write this letter, my 2 1/2-year-old son sleeps peacefully in the next room. His name is Noah, and one of the little boys who needlessly died in the school shooting was also named Noah. I cannot help but wonder what I would have done or how I would have reacted should my son have been killed. It is too much to bear.
Further, as Noah prepares to start pre-school, I never thought that my first question to potential pre-schools would be, “what precautions are you taking to ensure that what happened on Dec. 14, 2012 doesn’t happen at this school?”
Reflecting upon this tragedy as both a father and a citizen, I am convinced that we no longer can continue down the road of interpreting the Second Amendment so broadly. The right to bear arms is a responsibility given to us as citizens to defend against tyranny of the government. It is not about owning and stockpiling high-powered guns like those used to massacre children. This is a dangerous interpretation that only promises to take more lives and do nothing to heal our nation or move us forward.
Thus, after much prayer and consideration, I have decided to end my membership to the National Rifle Association. After this tragedy, I no longer hold the belief that Americans should have the “right” to possess these types of guns. I pray that the NRA will also change its views, too – not for us adults, but for our children who are the future of our great nation.Nathaniel H. Goetz DurhamAid a good investment
A recent letter from Bette Smith said that she could not answer a question her young daughter posed about why the U.S. sends foreign aid to Israel. As an American teen who spent four months in Israel this past spring, perhaps Ms. Smith will share my letter with her daughter.
First, most Americans take pride in knowing that our foreign aid helps not just Israel, but countries across the globe whose values we share as Americans. We have a leading democracy, and so does Israel. Israel is our ally, and it supports the U.S. Israel is surrounded by countries, such as Iran and Syria, whose leaders often support terrorism rather than democracy.
Second, our aid to Israel saves lives. Military aid is for fighting wars and more importantly stopping them. The Iron Dome that our aid supported brought an end to the latest terrorist threat by Hamas. It destroyed about 90 percent of the missiles that threatened to land in populated areas, full of Arab and Jewish civilians. The U.S. military is learning from this system that can save U.S. lives too.
Third, I hope you encourage your daughter to ask questions not just selectively about aid to Israel but about U.S. aid across the world.
Finally, we support Israel because it is a good investment. Consider that while Israel has just 0.2 percent of the world’s population, Israeli innovation made fully possible Intel and Google, drip irrigation and the software used for cell phones, in farming, medicine and technology. Israel is almost always the first country to respond to disasters, like tsunamis in Asia or earthquakes in Haiti.
Ms. Smith, please proudly tell your daughter that our investment with Israel pays us back far more than we invest. Elianna Goldstein Chapel Hill Easy A for all
It is curious that the academic scandal involving the Afro-American studies department at UNC-CH has focused on just a small percentage of the students who took the courses. Who steered the non-athletes to these classes?
If there was no outside effort to recruit these students, why must there have been an organized effort to recruit athletes? Were fraternities and sororities and service organizations involved in attracting non-athletes to these easy courses?
A professor was able to collect a salary without teaching, and students could get decent grades with little effort. This looks like a self-contained scandal involving a lazy professor and a product that easily sells itself.
The student quest for the easy "A" has existed for decades, and the scandal may lie in media attempts to transform the mundane to the mendacious.Tom Field Chapel HillBeyond words
I was beyond words, when after a long stressful day, two women from the Revolve Church stepped in front of me at the Durham ToysRUs store, and paid for my shopping cart full of toys.
“Why?” I asked.
“To spread Christmas cheer,” they replied.
“What should I do?” I asked, still confused.
“Just return the favor” was the answer.
In a time full of rushing and stressing, how awesome is that. I will definitely remember this Xmas. A lesson for my children, as well as myself – the gift of giving and helping. I cannot wait to “pass the favor”!Jacki Chase Durham
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