Doing more with less
Looking through Monday’s paper, there’s a letter-writer who wants the government to form an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Administration and an article about a proposed new state law to police social media. With just about every family being asked to do more with less, isn’t it about time we asked the same from government?
I would be willing to bet that there are so many cases of duplication of efforts by different government agencies, both state and federal, that it would make your head spin. Look at the massive effort that is going into the cleanup, repair and assistance after the deadly tornadoes hit our state. People and government agencies working hand in hand toward a common goal.
We don’t need more government, we just need the government to do more.
Dangers of the suit
I would like for the Arkansas Legislature to pass a law banning clean-shaven men in suits and ties from appearing in public. The self-loathing and universal hatred it must take in order to wake up each morning only to scrape a razor blade across one’s throat and then voluntarily affix a noose around one’s neck is beyond disturbing. In fact, it is dangerous to our society.
My evidence is none other than the Arkansas Legislature itself as it passes law after law to restrict the bodily autonomy of women, censor literature and history, and criminalize personal clothing decisions while simultaneously forcing Christian nationalist indoctrination down our collective throats.
Moreover, they engage in this suicidal behavior even during the brutal throes of Arkansas summers. What kind of message does it send our children when they are forced to witness grown men wearing layers of weather-inappropriate and unnatural clothing (often mixing fabrics), and sweating like feral hogs?
Over half a century ago, Flannery O’Connor got it right when she wrote, “I hate to think that in 20 years Southern writers too may be writing about men in grey-flannel suits and may have lost their ability to see that these gentlemen are even greater freaks than what we are writing about now.”
Farm Bill complexity
Thank you, Sen. Mark Pryor, for your recent guest column in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on the 2023 Farm Bill. I think your words describing the mission or goals of farm legislation and the many competing interests involved were on target.
It seems that many in the political arena don’t see the complexities in something simply named the Farm Bill. Thanks again for your attempt to bring clarity to those complex debates scheduled to happen again after five more crops are produced.
HARVEY JOE SANNER
Valuing human life
In a recent letter to the editor, Michael Emerson (defending his Second Amendment rights and being a tough guy) repeats the NRA mantra that will allow more mass shootings and death on the defenseless. He even states that middle-aged white guys are not the problem. Just tell that to the 60-plus killed and over 800 wounded in Las Vegas in 2017. Tell that to the two armed police officers sitting in their squad cars in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2016. There were reported to be 152 shells on the floor of the school in Nashville.
As a physician (now retired), I was taught to look at data that generally increase the chance of survival for my patients. Roughly one in 20 U.S. citizens have a serious mental illness (8 percent have a major depressive episode, about 1 percent with schizophrenia, etc.). The average gun ownership is 1.2 guns per citizen. That combination will result in more mass shootings, shootings in Chicago, accidental shootings, suicide deaths, and so on. High-capacity magazines are directly correlated with mass shootings in any reasonable study. Emerson might never use his AR in a mass shooting, but if it falls into the wrong hands, people will die.
As a farmer/hunter, I use my single-fire guns to secure my cows/horses/home or when my wife states we are out of venison. Most of my time is spent watching/feeding/taking pictures of those beautiful creatures. There is no place in the U.S. for ARs, AR pistols, or high-capacity magazines without having a permit, registering that weapon, and following that weapon’s footprint. We also should establish the mental stability and check the criminal records of the owner. Duck hunters are limited to three shells in their shotgun. You can carry a gun designed to kill people with 30-plus bullets. Doesn’t sound like our legislatures really value human life.