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The Journal Gazette

  • Banks

Friday, August 16, 2019 1:00 am


Responsibility overlooked in blame for violence

Our country has experienced two more horrific mass shootings. And, once again, political figures on both sides are pointing fingers and blaming the senseless killings on each other. And there is the cry for laws to stop this violence.

But don't we already have laws intended to stop violence? It is against the law to murder anyone. It is against the law to take a firearm of any kind and kill another human being. And yet murder happens every day in our country. Why aren't the laws specifying murder not stopping violent murders in our country?

While I understand why some would call for stricter laws, current laws do not stop murder from happening. I wish it were that simple.

Yes, we have a mental illness problem in this nation. We do not understand it nor do we track individuals who could do harm to themselves or others. But, in my opinion, what we see happening in our country and around the world is an outgrowth of evil. All the rhetoric about laws and the political posturing completely ignores personal responsibility and the existence of evil.

And when we take away personal responsibility while ignoring that evil exists, we are going to continue to see all kinds of horrific things taking place – mass shootings, terrorism, child abuse, rape and murder.

Our nation needs to find its soul again. And that discovery is not going to happen while we blame one another while ignoring the individuals who commit such heinous crimes.

Jim E. Johnson

Fort Wayne

No changing the past

I would love to praise Jacqueline St. John for her letter on Aug. 10. She had the courage to say what many of us are thinking. Destroying statues doesn't undo the past. Paying reparations to people who were not even alive when their ancestors were treated badly doesn't change history. All we can do is change our mindset to make a better future. 

Elizabeth A. Wilson

Fort Wayne

Enablers such as Banks promote 'America Worst'

Rep. Jim Banks recently penned an oped bemoaning the fiscal irresponsibility of Congress (Aug. 5). He conveniently forgot to mention his irresponsible vote to gut our nation's tax base and give out trillions to the wealthy and to corporate interests. But in the wake of the carnage in Dayton and El Paso, I would like to highlight his other bankruptcy: his moral bankruptcy.

In Banks' recent Fort Wayne town hall, he could find nothing but praise for Donald Trump and his performance as president. By doing so, he endorsed and legitimized this president's hate-mongering and racist statements, including “go back to where you came from,” Baltimore being “infested” and immigrant “invasions.”

For a moment, I saw a glimmer of hope for Banks' soul when he tweeted that white supremacy and terrorism “should be named, targeted and defeated.” But the darker angels of his nature reappeared when he pronounced later that day that the violence was “perpetrated by extremists from both sides of the political spectrum.” His only evidence of this is that the Dayton shooter voted in a Democratic primary. In contrast, the manifesto attributed to the El Paso shooter reads like the transcript of a Trump rally.

This statement is Banks' version of Trump's “very fine people on both sides” false equivalency following Charlottesville. Banks then went on to accuse anyone who dared criticize the president for his continual fomenting of racial discord as “shortsighted.” Call me shortsighted, but I see clearly what this president and his enablers are doing to the country I love.

He is not promoting America First. He is promoting America Worst. Remember that history is farsighted. And posterity will remember your lack of moral fortitude.

Marty Lemert

Fort Wayne