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Letters are posted as we receive them during the week, and before they are printed in the paper, so check back frequently to see new letters. If you'd like to send a letter to the editor, use this postmarks submission form, or email your letter directly to mail@austinchronicle.com. Thanks for your patience.
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Failure of Focus

RECEIVED Wed., June 29, 2016

Dear Editor,
    “Page Two: Same as It Ever Was,” June 24, was excellent. Nonetheless, it suffers from conflating the issues of union strife and racial strife and gun control (I prefer the term “gun regulation”). The historic confrontations between workers and management are not fair markers for the current issues of either gun control/regulation or radical Islamic terrorism. They are irrelevant, though interesting as hell.
    What is relevant is there are 8 million “assault” rifles in the United States and two of them were used in the Sandy Hook and Orlando murders. Both of the scumbags had handguns in addition.
    The U.S. had an AWB (assault weapons ban) which existed from 1994 to 2004 whereupon it was not renewed. It was not renewed for two reasons: The first was its 10-year data-based agreed ineffectiveness. The second was the failure to create the Crazy List, which was an integral part of the legislation. States were to prepare a list to be consolidated with other states to form a national database of folks whose ownership of any weapon was a fair matter of public concern. Liberals, the ACLU, and liberal states protested and the list was never completed.
    What we face today is the same dilemma – a failure of will but, more importantly, a failure to focus on what could work instead of a series of knee-jerk, feel-good bits of political puffery and buffoonery.
    Neither of the Sandy Hook nor Orlando scumbags was on the No-Fly List, but both could have been on the Crazy List. All the Crazy List was to have accomplished was to identify those deserving of a bit more scrutiny. This might have prevented the murders. Why not focus on stuff that might actually work and save lives?
Jeffrey L. Minch

Know the Difference

RECEIVED Sat., June 25, 2016

Dear Editor,
    While I enjoyed "Page Two: Same as It Ever Was" [June 24], the one detail that might help the left (and I am a "lefty," takes one to know one) to reconsider, is their constant misstatement of facts concerning how, in particular, AR-type rifles are referred to. This type of rifle is not necessarily a fully automatic rifle referred to as such by the left as stated in the article. Also, fully automatic rifles are not easily obtained. The rifles used in these shootings are semi-autos, not fully auto; fully automatic rifles requiring only one pull of the trigger for 3 to multiple rounds fired, as opposed to semi-autos requiring a trigger pull for each shot fired. There is a difference. These semi-autos are really no more "weapons of war" (the new gun lexicon) than a deer rifle with a mag with multiple rounds (not a "clip," as lefties need to keep our descriptions correct, so at least, we don't sound uninformed, thus allowing the right to paint us as such), they just look more "evil." If lawmakers choose to limit the number of rounds in a mag to say, no more than 10, unfortunately, in my opinion, this will do next to nothing (they will just easily carry more mags) to prevent these shootings from reoccurring. What I'm pointing out is nothing that's not been pointed out many, many times before, but keeps being perpetuated because of ignorance coupled with a lot of emotion.
Steve McDaniels

False Narrative

RECEIVED Fri., June 24, 2016

Dear Editor,
    While I admire Louis Black's persistence in defending his "lesser of two evils" argument, both in his original editorial ["Page Two: All or Nothing Is No Way Forward," June 17], then in his response to Brett Thompson's rebuttal [“American Nightmare,” June 24] – respectfully, Black started off his argument by ignoring a fact that made his subsequent argument wrong. That is, the Electoral College ensures that Texas is going to wind up casting all of its electoral college votes for Trump, no matter what progressives in Austin might do in the voting booth. Once you acknowledge that, holding one's nose and voting for Clinton, even if you disagree with most of her agenda, makes no sense – even if you, as I do, find Trump appalling.
    You're free to vote your conscience here, and do something that doesn't make you urgently want to shower after voting. You can vote for Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate. You can vote for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate. You can cast a de facto NOTA (None of the Above) vote by leaving the presidential election part of the ballot blank. Or you can do what I'm going to do and boycott the whole affair and do something fun and life-affirming on Election Day.
    If you really like Clinton, then fine, vote for her. But if you don't – if you find her warmongering and drug warring and whatnot offensive – don't cave to a false narrative that you have to vote for the lesser of two evils. Because you have actual choices that don't boil down to terrible vs. slightly less terrible.
    This is not remotely a swing state. So take the high road. You'll feel better.
Jim Henshaw

More of the Same

RECEIVED Thu., June 23, 2016

Dear Editor,
    I really enjoyed Wayne Alan Brenner's piece on Salvage Vanguard's trouble with hanging on to a home base [“Only the Fourth Wall Is Forever,” Arts & Culture, June 24]. I met WAB in the early Nineties, when all the hip alt theatre and dance was being done in an abandoned cinema complex on Ben White. But this latest whinging correspondence is the very definition of "the more things change, the more they stay the same." Gentrification. Abusive banks. Institutional racism, sexism, whateverism. It's a simple fact of life, artistic or otherwise: Some people cause change, and others get changed. Put down roots, or get washed away. SVT's work certainly justifies the group's existence. Losing their home base reflects what they need to come to grips with: a fundamental irresponsibility and lack of foresight.
John Job
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