VT orientation letter

more fiction than fact

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

I am writing in response to recent letter “Gender indoctrination unnerves reader.” I was present at the Virginia Tech orientation this past summer with my rising freshman. I also have a child who is a junior at VT.

First, the correspondent stated, “Many in the parent track expressed concern after the faculty said, ‘Don’t be shocked if your kid comes home changed.’” Yep. My son came home with wild and crazy hair, a beard, a new sense of freedom and civic responsibility, and a wonderful ability to converse with adults in a much improved way. He did change. However, he would have changed had he gone into the military or to trade school, which the writer suggests would be a better option. The idea that our children will become adults yet remain the same 18-year-olds we sent them away as is absurd.

Second, the writer stated, “Elsewhere, incoming freshmen were given subtle hints to be open to new experiences, including fluidly exploring their gender and sexuality as if entering some sort of sex theme park.” This statement is quite a work of creative fiction. Nothing of the sort was suggested to incoming freshmen. What was suggested was that VT is an institution that welcomes all and wants all to feel that they have a place in the school’s society, including but not limited to those who identify as a different gender. Our children are growing up in a society that promotes acceptance of others, and I know that my freshman came away feeling happy about choosing a university that is welcoming to all.

In no way was the college suggesting that incoming freshmen should take a ride on a sexual roller coaster, and to even suggest that reflects a certain paranoia of those spreading such rumors.

I also have reflected on the added use of personal pronouns at the orientation and I have come to the conclusion that it is no different than having Mr. vs. Mrs. vs. Miss vs. Ms identifiers. All labels. Just a new way of using them.

Sandra Chase.


Background checks

a needed protection

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Is there nothing happening to protect us from gun violence? In a democracy, the majority rules, correct? So when 66% of the American people want stricter gun control protection, why is it not happening?

Surely, it is not due to money and political influence from a few telling our representatives to do nothing, right? Think about it.

Maybe action is delayed by catchphrases like “Guns do not kill people, people do.” If you lay an assault rifle on a table, it will not kill anyone. A person has to pick it up to use it. Also, if you lay a musket, as envisioned by Constitutional framers, on the same table, it also takes a person to use that. The difference is that it takes 20 to 30 seconds to reload a musket. So, there might be two shots in 30 seconds. A large-magazine assault-style rifle, like the one used in the Dayton, Ohio, shooting killed nine and wounded 27 in 30 seconds. Assault-style weapons provide overwhelming firepower.

Military-style assault rifles should not be available to everybody. They should be licensed only to qualified people. Get the firepower out of the hands of dangerous people.

Another catch phrase is “It is the mentally ill who are to blame.” If that is the case, why eliminate some of the rules for flagging the mentally ill in background checks as President Donald Trump did back in February 2017? This administration and our representatives are ignoring the rampage of gun violence death around us.

Wouldn’t an effective universal background check system prevent gun ownership by the dangerously mentally ill? Also, wouldn’t this potentially limit gun ownership by stalkers, wife beaters, criminals, students with problems, terrorists, etc.?

When our representatives ignore reasonable gun violence remedies and do nothing to protect us, should they be in office? On Nov. 5, vote for someone who will protect us.

James Knupp.


Gun violence seems to be an American affliction

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

I am sure that yet again the National Rifle Association and its dependents, mostly Republican but a few Democratic members of Congress, will attempt to divert the discussion of mass murder from limits to ownership of weapons to one of mental illness. I find it curious that this affliction continues exclusively within the continental boundaries of the United States while the rest of the world seems to have successful remedies.

Rather than having more research, studies, focus groups, etc., we should just review the treatments that other countries have found effective and adapt them to best serve us. These other nations have addressed the issue while still allowing their citizens to hunt, to form sporting clubs for target shooting, trap and skeet shooting, collecting, varmint control and personal defense. Surely we are as capable as others.

To quote a very successful advertising slogan from Nike, “Just do it!”

Jim Tromater.


For the fetus, abortion

not a ‘safe procedure’

Editor, Times-Dispatch,

In response to Karen Raschke’s letter regarding unnecessary regulations, she stated that abortion is a “safe surgical procedure.” I would contend that it is anything but safe for the infant thriving in the comfort of its mother’s womb.

Cathy Allen.


Prioritize education

and support for teachers

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

The public needs to prioritize education and, with it, prioritize the resources required to support community expectations. We can’t expect the best and yet provide less than the best resources. We as a society have problems when we glorify a $15 million golf payout or a $100 million running back, and yet we don’t want to support the necessary resources for our children’s teachers who, in many cases, spend more time with our kids’ daily than parents. When we rearrange our priorities and stop politicizing education, we will raise the bar and all children will benefit and society will benefit.

Bob Innes.


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