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Letters to the editor, September 1

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Denton Record-Chronicle Readers

Keep speech free

"Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech," First Amendment says. The Supreme Court has also included states in that prohibition.

There are limits. We can't yell "Fire!" in crowded theaters or incite the violent overthrow of our elected governments.

Some now also see "hate speech" as illegal. But "hate speech" is subjective. Who decides what's hate speech? You may consider protected speech what I consider hate speech and vice-versa.

Ever more words and acts are now considered "politically incorrect" and are prohibited on state university campuses and elsewhere. Where does that become illegal restriction of a basic freedom, and, again, which side decides?

Our Founders knew that our governments must allow practically all speech.

Burning the American flag was once illegal. Although it expresses hate for our country, liberals were right in demanding that such acts nevertheless be allowed in the name of freedom of speech.

That precedent also seems reasonable for practically all other types of speech, even hateful racially, ethnically and religiously charged words. Those who thus intentionally express themselves reveal that they are un-American jerks, and it's good to know who the jerks among us are.

Also, such words and acts are intended to hurt us, but they can't do that if we ignore them as ravings of un-American jerks. Why give jerks the pleasure of yanking our chains?

Let's keep speech as free as possible and reject the jerks that free speech reveals.

Lee Narhgang,


Don't revere Confederacy

Growing up in Texas, I recall segregated schools, drinking fountains, waiting rooms and black people sitting in the back of buses. I accepted this as normal. My school was named for a Confederate general. My favorite book and movie was Gone with the Wind. I embraced the romanticized image of the Old South. As for statues honoring Confederate personages, I was fine with them.

Recently I read The Warmth of Other Suns, which tells the true stories of blacks during the mass migration from the South to the urban centers of the North (1917-1970). Even having lived through a portion of the Jim Crow era, I had no appreciation for what black people endured during those years. It was an astounding revelation of suffering and inconceivable injustices.

Confederate statues were erected during the Jim Crow era. If you believe that the Civil War was fought for any other reason than to preserve a way of life built upon slavery, you are deluding yourself. The South Carolina declaration of secession removes all ambiguity.

I urge people to re-examine their perspective on celebrating those times. Germany does not celebrate its Nazi heritage. Preserve history, learn from it, but don't revere the Confederacy as noble when it was seeking to perpetuate something evil. The statues belong in museums, not the public square.

Gretchen Niendorff,


NRA here for all

I have been an NRA Life Member since 1971. I have received their magazine, the American Rifleman, every month since then. It has articles on new rifles, pistols, shotguns that are for target, hunting, law enforcement, and self defense. Most articles are about making the arms more accurate than they are new from the manufacturer.

Reloading to enhance accuracy is very important for those that want the very best. Most all sports are based on launching a projectile at a target, right? Are those anti-firearms individuals against sport shooting and hunting? Yes there are articles in the magazine that strongly support the Second Amendment! Was it written right behind the First Amendment for a reason? It sure was.

The "true reporting" out there is having a hard time with the "lying" media that can't get over Hillary getting "whupped." The uninformed public and a federal government that is out to lunch doesn't know what the NRA stands for.

If there ever is a time when the five million members of the NRA are needed, we will be there for all of those who need what we can provide; even those who "can't handle the truth."

James Penton,


Softening the issue

I read the column by Scott K. Parks in last Sunday's paper and felt compelled to respond to one of his paragraphs. "None of us is interested in slanting the news one way or the other. It would constitute journalistic malpractice to do so."

This is an interesting misstatement, being that it was your paper that introduced me to a new phrase, "unauthorized immigrant." I had never heard that before. Does that mean a burglar could also be called an "unauthorized house guest?" Why can't your people use simple words without devious intent? They are either immigrants or they are illegal immigrants -- unless the media/press desires to soften the issue.

Gary Pniewski,


Taking away local control

Republicans have always told us, "We want local control." That's just another of their hypocrisies. Republican Governor Greg Abbott and his henchmen in Austin are taking away our local control.

They have taken away local control of our tree ordinances, smoking ordinances and fracking regulations. They have taken away local control of growing cities' ability to annex and ability to raise taxes for increased value, therefore limiting services for developing cities.

They have taken away a municipality's right to govern highway signage within their cities. Even now Abbott and his right wing are probably conspiring to take away power and control by cities.

Folks, it doesn't matter how you feel about the above issues. The point is, they are taking away your control of any of them.

Jim Stodola,


Love conquers hate

The inter-racial Denton Association of Christian Women was organized in another time of civil unrest, racial division and violence "to promote opportunities for fellowship among Christian women." Our Christian beliefs compel us also to promote fellowship among all people, all races, all ethnicities, and all faiths.

Therefore, the Association condemns racial discrimination and violence that we've often seen recently in television and newspaper reports. We urge all people everywhere to grant to each other the same respect they want for themselves. It may sound cliche, but it is nevertheless true: Love conquers hate; violence begets violence.

"Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me."

Denton Association of Christian Women,

Rose Watson, President,

Gloria Denmon, Vice President