Off Target

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Posted May 13, 2009 by John Q. Public in News

To the editor: While I appreciate Cohe Bolin’s attempt to write a balanced article about the guns-on-campus bill (“Target: Campus,” May 6, 2009), I felt that she made it appear that there are as many supporters as there are those opposed. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I was at the anti-gun rally in Austin, and there were only two students marching in favor of the bill while 300 University of Texas students, parents, legislators, and staff members protested against it. When the students entered the capitol to express their dissent to the House committee, they were searched before entering the visitors’ gallery, since concealed handguns are now banned. How ironic that our legislators aren’t worried about students shooting a gun, unless it’s aimed at them. And what did the committee members have to say? Nothing: Those lily-livered legislators canceled their meeting when they observed the large dissenting crowd. In the Senate committee, the bill passed in the wee hours of Tuesday morning  (May 12), after amendments were defeated that would have banned guns from dorm rooms and that would have let individual colleges opt out, keeping guns off their campuses.

The big question is why 75 House members and 13 senators would sponsor a bill that every college and university in Texas has opposed. The answer lies in the number of National Rifle Association lobbyists walking capitol halls. They expect total loyalty and threaten to withdraw campaign funds or campaign against any legislator who dares to oppose them. Sadly there’s no lobbyist representing the parents who have lost children to gun accidents or suicide, no lobbyist to represent the 30,000 victims of gun violence killed every year, no lobbyist who’ll refute the lie that a student is safer with a gun than without one.

If the NRA really wanted to keep students safe, they would demand that Texas close the gun-show loophole that allows the mentally ill, criminals, and gang members to buy unlimited quantities of firearms, instead of shamefully using the Virginia Tech massacre as a marketing tool to scare up more gun sales.

Sharon Austry

Fort Worth

Old is OK on PBS

To the editor: Dan McGraw’s column on PBS (“Senior Specials,” April 8, 2009) deserves a high-five. I’m one of those “oldies” over 70 who watches PBS exclusively. It’s entertaining, educational, and informative programming that the entire family can watch and learn from without any of the fringe porn or voyeurism with which regular TV is peppered.

The Antiques Roadshow is one of particular interest – a historical trek through the centuries and the generations that lived, worked, and made history with their talents, whether in furniture-making, painting, inventions, music, or otherwise.

PBS’ success was bound to attract competition, though others come with commercial breaks, of course. The younger generation can better afford to buy things and so are more the target of commercial programs, but we oldsters aren’t quite expendable yet. We purchase what we need when we can, and some of us simply like a media venue without interruptions or commercials. I don’t mind the pledge drives because I support the programming PBS offers through my donations.

Seneca Maskell

Fort Worth

Wake-up Call in the ER

To the editor: Fort Worth Weekly‘s “Nurses Unite” (May 6, 2009) by Eric Griffey was a wake-up-and-smell-the-coffee contribution to the reading public and to anyone who uses the facilities at JPS hospital.

For more than a year now, JPS has been at the center of exposes and various stories about the lack of staff, care of patients, and rampant unsanitary conditions.

With the firing of former CEO David Cecero and the elevation of Robert Earley to that position, there is a new regime in charge that has already shown signs of commitment to the many changes long overdue at the hospital.

The National Nurses Organizing Committee will continue to advocate for emergency room nurses and their working conditions. If patient-to-nurse ratios can be reduced from 80 to 1 down to 4 to 1, of course patients and nurses as well will be better served.

Let’s see what Earley does after his honeymoon is over. I believe he’ll pass the test on performance and integrity and do the hospital proud.

Eva Hoffsetz

Fort Worth


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