Letters to the Editor

Interfaith group asks: When is enough enough?

It is with deep sadness and shock that we condemn the barbaric criminal actions this past weekend in El Paso and Dayton.

While there are no words to express solace for those affected by these tragic events, the MCCJ Board of Directors and Interfaith Clergy Dialogue join thousands around the world in offering our prayers and sympathy for the victims and families.

El Paso and Dayton have joined the long list of cities that have experienced mass shootings.

When is enough enough?

Until we address the availability of assault weapons to troubled persons, find ways to monitor hateful rhetoric on the internet and address mental health problems, it is sad and hard to imagine that anything will change substantively.

No thought or prayer will bring back the victims, whose lives were robbed by cruel, insensible and irresponsible individuals carrying weapons.

Once and for all, we must proactively get behind a movement to end this epidemic and continue to fight racism, bigotry and hate.

During times of crisis, MCCJ provides Miami-Dade with a much-needed safety net.

In our role as a convener, we provide opportunities for candid and difficult dialogues, bringing together diverse groups with varying opinions to find solutions and bridge gaps. Our work is now more important than ever!

MCCJ will hold an Interfaith Service of Prayer and Song in memory of the El Paso and Dayton victims at 6 p.m. Thursday at Trinity Cathedral, at 464 NE 16th St., Miami.

We will also pray for our country to find the moral fortitude to take action to end the violence. Everyone is welcome.

Brian Dervishi,

chair,

MCCJ Board of Directors,

Rabbi Frederick Klein,

co-chair,

MCCJ Interfaith Clergy

Dialogue,

and two others,

Miami

Gun violence

This summer, I traveled to Israel and Scotland. What do these two countries have in common? They both have strict gun laws.

It was a relief to listen to the news in each country and not hear the daily reports of shootings that are so typical here.

I returned home to learn about a man who had been shot in front of my former synagogue in North Miami Beach, and to three mass shootings, all within two weeks.

What will give us greater peace of mind: the right to bear almost any kind of arms or the right to live without fear of being gunned down?

We must choose.

Sharon Glueck,

Hollywood

Taking cover

Knowing that Texas is an open-carry state, I can’t help but wonder where the good guy with a gun was when the bad guy opened fire. Well, there goes another myth perpetrated by the NRA and its supporters.

I’m guessing the good guy was ducking for cover and trying to survive. I don’t blame him.

Law-enforcement officers are the only people who should allowed to carry guns. But even that doesn’t always work, as we saw at the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Will these senseless shootings ever stop? I am starting to lose hope.

Dianne Stutts,

Pembroke Pines

Red-face test

Politicians should not blame journalists for asking hard questions. If they do, they are either unprepared or lying.

Jackie Gross-Kellogg,

Key Biscayne

Political apathy

The Pittsburgh synagogue shooting in October and now the massacre in El Paso: Don’t try to kid yourselves for a second that these hate crimes are not politically motivated.

Weapons in the wrong hands? Come on, if nothing was done after Sandy Hook, nothing is going to happen now.

The party in power now has no interest in helping stop the violence. If you haven’t heard the hatred spewed regularly, hatred we have never heard from any president before, then you are simply part of the problem.

Jeff Haller,

Cutler Bay

Candidate vetting

In view of our government’s inaction, I pledge to not vote for any candidates in national, state or local elections until they publicly state what they have done and will do to curb gun violence.

No excuses, no exceptions.

Dave Goodwin,

Miami Beach

Candidate vetting II

No doubt, members of Miami Dade College’s Board of Trustees, most nominated by our Republican governor, are using the same vetting process to select a new leader for the college that the occupant of the White House is using to select his next director of national intelligence.

Sylvan Seidenman,

Miami

Evil rhetoric

Enough! I do not know if President Trump really is a racist. It makes no difference. He is far more evil than a mere racist. He will say and do anything and everything to go after what he wants. He does not care about the direct or indirect consequences resulting from what he says and does.

He has encouraged hate to achieve his goals. Hatred of Muslims, hatred of immigrants, hatred of those he calls socialists and hatred of almost any person or group that disagrees with him. He has encouraged and given permission to the sickest of people and groups to express the worst about others.

And now some of those sick people are not just screaming “send them back” or “lock her up”, they are killing people in great numbers.

Trump bears responsibility for the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, and he bears responsibility for the El Paso shooting. He has unleashed forces of hatred that will threaten our country and our way of life for years to come. Yet those who support his goals either join in the screaming and rhetoric or they remain woefully silent.

Trump said that there were “fine people” on both sides in Charlottesville. He was right. The problem is, when good people either support an evil cause or remain silent in the face of that evil, they become evil themselves. It is no longer acceptable for good people to remain silent in the face of Trump’s evil rhetoric.

Good people should be rising up and in one voice screaming, “Shut him up.”

Leon Botkin,

Miami

Drop the phone

James Cox’s Aug. 4 letter, “Warning signal”, hit the nail on the head. Put your cell phone in the baby carrier when you strap your child in. You will never forget your phone, and it works in two ways.

You will not be able to talk or text on it while you are driving. This way, you might save another life by not being a distracted driver.

And then you could have meaningful conversation with your baby on the ride.

It’s win-win.

Clare Frost,

Dania Beach

This masquerade

The latest headlines: Beaches closed because of fecal matter in the water.Daily grid lock continues on Miami-Dade road ways. City of Miami approves another massive development in one of our iconic neighborhoods after midnight with just three elected officials present.

Why don’t we just eliminate local government — the government that is supposed to be working for us, but in reality just works for developers — and let the developers manage the city? Let maybe five billionaires run the city (they do it now anyhow), and they can fight among themselves to see who gets to eliminate a neighborhood.

At least we would end the charade that we, the people, have any say in what is going on.

Alfred McKnight, El Portal

Gun epidemic

Gun deaths have risen to the highest level in 20 years, with 40,000 deaths from gun violence in 2018. It has become an epidemic. But unlike deaths from disease, where we search for a cure, gun deaths have gotten a pass.

Until this country gets over its love affair with guns, we will be face more carnage. We are the only Western country that allows its citizens to be armed (and many with huge arsenals), so why are we shocked when every week there is another mass shooting?

The killing epidemic will continue until the NRA is out of business and politicians are no longer in its grips. We’ve dealt with the AIDS epidemic, polio, measles and diseases too numerous to list, but we avoid facing the painful reality of gun deaths.

Shame on us for electing politicians who refuse to face this crisis. And shame on Congress for not sanctioning this president for refusing to condemn the actions of the white nationalist movement, especially because they are the ones committing most of the mass shootings.

Anita Steinfeld,

Aventura

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