Letters: Carnage anywhere

The carnage can happen anywhere:

If it can happen at a Walmart in El Paso, it could happen at one down the street.

If it can happen at a grocery store in Buffalo, it could happen at H-E-B.

If it can happen at an elementary school in Uvalde, it could happen in the RGV. And not just at an elementary, either: here there are a plethora of targets, middle schools, high schools, and colleges of all ilks (remember Virginia Tech?)

If it can happen on July Fourth, it could happen during Charro Days or Rio Fest.

The AR-15 and similar “long guns” are weapons of war, some of the most lethal on the planet. As assault rifles, they are not used for self defense: Bullets could travel at speed through walls or Sheetrock to kill someone in the next room or the yard or across the street. A good idea in Ukraine perhaps, not so much in the U.S.

They are not used much or at all for target practice — no skill involved in shooting out 30 bullets in seconds to hit everything — and anyone — in sight. They are not used to hunt — unless the aim is to turn the animal to mincemeat before it drops.

Must the carnage happen everywhere to get a uniform, national ban on this one type of firearm intended and used solely to kill as many human beings as fast as possible? Red flag laws don’t work: Too frequently, parents are enablers, school personnel are oblivious, law enforcement ignores the warning signs. Everyone is in denial: It can’t happen here. But it does, way too often. In other countries, when these depressed, angry, usually young men go on a rampage, laws are passed almost overnight to ensure it does not happen again. And it doesn’t. It is only in countries with an active insurgency or an internal terrorist group where it recurs. But maybe that is where this country is headed: Jan. 6 attempt not enough?

P.V. Lee


Advice from


One way to evaluate the value of teaching in our society is to compare it against the situation of teachers in another great democracy like Rome.

Emperor Vespasian promulgated the First Edict of Cyrene, which boosted the teaching profession not only in the homeland but across the many provinces around the Mediterranean.

He declared, “The profession of elementary and higher level school teachers who raise the minds of the young to civility and public virtue being sacred to Hermes and the Muses … I therefore order that these persons aforesaid shall not be liable to taxation of any kind.”

Our teachers today are cast aside as just another laboring group who have to organize to get sufficient remuneration to do their jobs.

Vespasian’s decree also speaks to a curriculum issue at the heart of the failure of the American education system. Studies show schoolchildren score at an abominably low level of proficiency in civics and history.

Our ancestors in the colony of Massachusetts went one step better than Vespasian and made parents ultimately accountable for civics knowledge. Parents were fined 20 shillings for each child found not to have a “knowledge of the capital laws.”

Perhaps we should exempt our teachers from taxation, update our school curriculum, and fine parents whose kids do poorly at school.

Kimball Shinkoskey

Woods Cross, Utah