To the editor:

Re “Armed. And ready to teach in kindergarten” (main page, July 31):

As a parent of school-age children and an American citizen with common sense values, I am deeply moved by this article. It seems pretty farcical to create a school emergency response squad of ill-trained and likely under-trained and timid teachers, administrators and janitors to do what nearly 400 law enforcement officers armed with high-powered automatic rifles were unable to do in Uvalde and wrong.

It’s as if the proverbial “nice guy with a gun” is now the new tactic used to act where trained officials have failed so egregiously and tragically.

Evidence shows that successful outcomes of such tactics in mass shooting events are extremely rare. And so we again ignore the elephant in the room (hundreds of millions of guns, lax gun laws, the NRA lobby) and instead of legislating safeguards for the innocent, we meekly and quietly give the teacher a 24-hour certification and a Glock, which if he not in the hands of an experienced gunsmith, becomes essentially a shooter against a maniac armed with an automatic rifle.

The insane gun laws that allow such frequent mass shootings are now hidden behind stupid and ill-conceived “solutions” in this once great country.

Timothy Painter
Media, Pa.

To the editor:

As a retired elementary school teacher, I felt a mixture of disbelief and horror after reading this article! What is wrong with our country that allows teachers to carry and possibly use loaded guns?

Classrooms are places where the environment should be safe and comfortable for learning. Will the teachers ready to fire create the atmosphere we want for our children?

Barbara Segal
Berkeley, California.

To the editor:

Instead of scaring teachers who feel compelled to learn how to handle guns for their own safety and the safety of the children in their care, why don’t teachers just refuse to go to school until these semi-automatic rifles are completely banned and off the streets ?

Teachers taught via Zoom during one plague; they may do so again during the present plague.

Lisbeth S. Fried
Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Transferring firearms to civilians with minimal training and experience is a national disaster. The lives of our children, young people, teachers and administrators deserve a more thoughtful and thoughtful response to the epidemic of school shootings. Not a reckless policy of shooting from the hip.

Viktor Kaliman
Kings Park, New York
The writer is a former teacher and director.

To the editor:

Piotr Pomerantsev “Putin stands for Russia, and Ukraine is a stage” (Sunday Opinion, July 31):

Mr. Pomerantsev’s excellent analysis of President Vladimir Putin’s manipulation of Russia’s “cycle of humiliation and aggression” reminds me of the Russian folk saying, “Never take the garbage out of the house.”

Russians will never admit or perpetuate their self-inflicted pain because they refuse to present their failures and shortcomings to the outside world. Russians believe that in this case, foreigners will be threatened by the use of such weak points.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, is still scorned in Russian society for adopting a policy that would have allowed Russia’s years of failure to be publicly discussed and addressed, and which traditionalists opposed.

Melvin A. Goodman
Bethesda, Maryland
The writer, a former CIA Russia analyst, is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy in Washington and an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University.

To the editor:

When the media will hang Vladimir Putin as he is: the Hitler of the 21st century? The sooner, the better, because this identification can reach the Russian citizens who are being propagated.

CJ Hoppin
Peaks Island, Maine

To the editor:

In “Republican Governors Are Quietly Delivering Results” (Sunday Opinion, July 31), Liz Mair tries to prove Republican competence by cherry-picking economic data she says favors Republican-governed states. But Democrats could also point to data to support the competence of a democratic government.

Just one example: Of the states with the highest death rates from Covid, six are led by Republican governors.

A governor’s effectiveness is measured by much more than just collected data.

Richie Feder

To the editor:

This essay is an interesting contrast to the Upshot article published the other day: “Indiscernible safety net is weaker in states that ban abortion.” Three Republican governors whom Liz Mair highly approves of — Greg Abbott, Doug Ducey and Asa Hutchinson — preside over states that have some of the worst rates in the country for things like child poverty and maternal mortality.

Was the price paid for the tax cuts and other policies they implemented worth it?

Ellen S. Hirsch
New York

To the editor:

Re ‘Last straw’: Flood washes away men working in Kentucky coal country” (news article, Aug. 5):

Reading this story about the people of Kentucky is heartbreaking. Living this story is probably more than heartwarming. Death, destruction and lack of resources is a living nightmare.

It is insidious that coal mining, which has negatively affected the health of people and the surrounding area, has contributed to the unstable climate that causes such heavy rains and severe flooding. Unfortunately, these climate events will continue to destabilize communities as global warming continues.

Lives and livelihoods must be saved in eastern Kentucky. In addition to cleanup, these people need jobs, housing, health care, and good schools. Land damaged by coal mining must be saved.

Our Americans need help, and we as a nation must answer their call. And we need to pass legislation to mitigate the climate crisis. We have a lot on our plate, but we can do it!

Sally Cortright
Albany, New York
The writer is a retired science teacher.

To the editor:

Re “The Fight Doctors” (Science Times, August 2):

Speaking against the expansion of mixed martial arts, Senator John McCain – hardly disdainful – described their bouts as the equivalent of “human cockfighting”. The current ubiquity of this “sport” is another sign of the moral decline of our society.

Doug Breen

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