Letters to the Editor

When do we take white nationalist violence seriously?

John Earnest, 19 and “white,” was held after his deadly shooting at a Californian synagogue. However, he is also thought to have tried to burn down a mosque in California. What life story does this young adult have that would inspire him — and enable him — to buy a semi-automatic weapon?

The Anti Defamation League reports 39 out of 50 shooting deaths were from white nationalists in 2018, which is up from 18 out of 34 in 2017. No adult, especially a 19-year-old, should be buying semi-automatic weapons. Accurate universal background checks are essential.

Yet these shootings are not the mark of a well-balanced society, where people feel secure and hopeful. We are told the economy is doing well as the GDP is up 3.2 percent. But are average workers feeling happy about doing two jobs to make ends meet, feeling confident about their health costs being covered adequately and their children being able to secure better jobs?

What kind of Congress are we working for? Passive expectations that the House and Senate will work for the public good are patently inadequate. Too many are beholden to the NRA, which secretly accepts funds from sources that are fronts for Russian money — as illustrated by the recent conviction of Maria Butina. We must insist on candidates, for all offices, who uphold honesty, fairness and respect for all people.

Sonia Ettinger

Iowa City

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