Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Sept. 19

Don't give killers free media publicity

Once again there have been "lone wolf" rampage killings. Since there will probably be no action on the gun-control front, these senseless deaths go on unabated.

Hundreds of reporters will gather for weeks, recounting stories as if these killers are worthy of fame.

Once again, I have an answer: Stop the media from publishing the names and aims of these killers, at least until their trials or inquests are over.

There is a precedent for doing this. There had been a recurring rash of subway suicides in Vienna, Austria, homeland of respected psychoanalysts.

The media, government and behavioral experts agreed to try a blackout for a reasonable time. After a brief respite, it seems no one cared about the names, and suicidal motivations became more like scientific studies than yellow journalism.

Do not tell me the free speech guarantees of the First Amendment prohibit such a blackout. If a public-safety exception prohibits yelling "fire" in a crowded theater, then a greater constitutional protection should be available to our next victims of rampage killers. USA Today reported these incidents have occurred on an average of every 34 days. The clock is ticking.

Jon Larson


Paper's drug propaganda

Have you noticed that every article about drugs in this newspaper contains the same terms? They cite the "plague," "epidemic" or "scourge" of drugs and then call for "combat" against drugs.

This is how propaganda works: Repeat the same phrases over and over to make them part of our consciousness. Like a tune that you can't get out of your head, the phrases become fixed in our minds.

Drug use is mostly a nonviolent activity by consenting adults in private; the average person faces no threat from them whatsoever. Terms such as plague, epidemic and scourge are repeated to instill fear and hysteria in the average person and push for more police spending and power to "combat" the people who use them.

It becomes a war instead of a public-health issue. In war it's OK to militarize our police, deny civil rights and have massive roundups in the middle of the night, while building more concentration camps that we call prisons.

The government powers, once gained, will be used for other "crimes," such as free speech, the right to protest and the right to own firearms. Please, be aware of these terms and why they are used.

Chris Wells


Eblen sends wrong signal

After reading Tom Eblen's Aug. 2 column, "Readers Suggest Historian Figures of Honor," I was intrigued with the last sentence pertaining to Garrett A. Morgan.

It stated, "He also designed an unsuccessful version of an early traffic signal."

In researching this statement, I found that Morgan acquired, on Nov. 20, 1923, a patent for the traffic signal and later sold it to the General Electric Co. for a large sum of money and was awarded by the city of Cleveland, Ohio a gold medal for his devotion to public safety.

I think the early traffic signal was very successful.

Mollie M. Bradley


Foster Pettit remembered

My dream was about a book signing at the Carnegie Center for the late Foster Pettit's book The Spider Election.

There were many people there who knew and cared for Foster, Lexington's twice mayor, waiting in lines to buy books autographed by his beloved wife, now widow Brenda and/or by this three beloved sons — Gregory, Harrison or Van Meter.

There was time while waiting in line to talk about the special qualities Pettit had. His presence almost always seemed to uplift the occasion, uplift those around him.

Upon awakening I wondered, when will we be able to buy this dear man's book?

Joe Graves


No to Planned Parenthood

On July 20, the Herald-Leader's front page featured two oddly related headlines. On one side it read "No-kill sanctuary" and on the other it read "Battle over abortion."

The abortion article detailed Planned Parenthood's grisly involvement in the sale of donated organs from aborted babies. The other was about a shelter to save animals from death and abandonment. What a shame that that's the opposite of Planned Parenthood, which wages war on parents, young women and babies, much at taxpayers' expense.

The president of Planned Parenthood makes in excess of $500,000 a year to lead a business that ignores the truth of ramifications of killing pre-born baby girls and boys. This legalized killing of the innocent must surely have a trickle-down effect on society's value of life.

Ed Norton


No more Kim Davis

Enough about Kim Davis and her religion. I believe in God, but I also believe in doing the job I am hired to do.

The Rowan County clerk stated God told her not to do the job her position requires her to do. What about the people you hear about who kill someone saying God told them to do it, do we just let that go since it's their religious belief? I think not.

Our government needs a special session to replace her. I know she has a lot of prejudiced supporters who think someone who doesn't think like them is wrong. Whatever happened to the old adage, "live and let live?"

When a couple decides to marry it is not her business to interfere or judge. She should do her job and obey our laws, regardless of her religious beliefs.

Estill Smith