Dialogue

Letters to the Editors

LIGHTING A FIRE

Great story (“Burn Patterns,” April 3). Hopefully this will draw attention to his plight and something positive will result.

Jan Babcockposted at www.texasobserver.org

As a former firefighter I am shocked at the ATF testimony concerning the aerosol cans. They are an embarrassment to the profession! This man seems to be innocent.

Howard Taylor posted at www.texasobserver.org

My prayers go out to this innocent man and his family.

Deb Nelson posted at www.texasobserver.org

WHO YOU CALLING TERRORIST?

” … sweating and mumbling, inappropriate attire, interest in cameras, and paying in cash …” (“Dr. Bob’s Terror Shop,” April 3.) Sounds like every journalist I know.

Great reporting on fusion centers. I’m a former Austinite and beamed to my friends that the Observer opened another great civil liberties story. So proud.

G.W. SchulzCenter for Investigative ReportingBerkeley, California

A WALK IN THE WOODS

What a pleasure to take a quick spin through these woods again with such an eloquent guide (“What the Woods Knew,” April 3). It brought me back to the adventure and poetry that awaits readers of all ages in The Underneath. Thank you for a great review of this excellent book.

Diane Linn posted at www.texasobserver.org

WATER ON THE BRAIN

I’m sure the UTMB situation is far more complicated than my little brain can comprehend (“Storm Over UTMB,” March 20), but if funding for indigent care is not provided by the city, county, state or federal government, what do people expect UTMB to do? I think people need to take their anger at UTMB and turn it toward our elected officials. Put the burden of funding free care on their backs. UTMB has done an exceptional job of providing free care for a long time, but they can’t continue without some commitment from government to cover those costs. Give UTMB a break!

Debra Ditto posted at www.texasobserver.org

TARGETING CAMPUS

Arming college campuses (Bad Bills, March 20) is an idea so thoroughly loathsome that it would not deserve comment except that it has the support of a sizable number of state legislators, including, sadly, my own.

If the sponsors believe their bill will make campuses safer, then I challenge them to apply that logic to their own environment and allow licensed visitors to bring concealed handguns into the House and Senate galleries. Of course they will not. But they will gain favor with the National Rifle Association. And that is, no doubt, the driving motivation.

Civilization is difficult enough to achieve and maintain without promoting an arms race in the very institutions we depend on to teach the rules and means of living together in civil society.

If the Legislature is genuinely concerned about the safety of students, they will invest in professional security personnel for college campuses, emergency campus communication systems, and mental health services for students.

Instead, students are instructed to arm themselves and protect each other; the state of Texas can’t be bothered. How profoundly shameful.

Thomas FowlerLake Jackson

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