Letters to the Editor (4/4/18) | Letters to the Editor | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Letters to the Editor (4/4/18) 

Published April 4, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.

Real Leadership

[Re "Unlikely Allies Open a Homeless Shelter in Lamoille County," March 21]: Did you hear the one about the rabbi, the minister and the sheriff who skipped the red tape and opened a homeless shelter in Hyde Park? So rarely do we see real leadership like this. It's the best story I've read in Seven Days in a long time.

Congrats, guys, for doing the right thing. You're examples to us all.

Pete Johnson


Will He Sign or Veto?

In "Weinberger Could Veto Burlington City Council Resolution on F-35s" [Off Message, March 28], Seven Days reports that Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger is taking time to consider "repercussions of the city requesting an alternative mission" for the Vermont Air National Guard. The resolution awaiting either his signature or his veto asks the secretary of the Air Force to "replace the planned basing of the F-35 with a basing of a low-noise-level plane with a proven high safety record, consistent with the ballot question" approved by 55 percent of Burlington voters on Town Meeting Day. 

Positive repercussions of the Air Force accepting such a request include:

• Sharply improved home environment for children and elderly in 3,000 homes in the Chase Street neighborhood in Burlington, the airport neighborhood in South Burlington and most of Winooski.

• Improved learning environment at Chamberlin School in South Burlington and at schools in Winooski.

• Sharply improved crash rate and crash consequences.

• A vastly increased amount of livable affordable housing in Chittenden County because 3,000 homes in the Chase Street neighborhood in Burlington, the airport neighborhood in South Burlington and most of Winooski will no longer be degraded.

• Sharply improved ability for employers to bring new workers to the Burlington area because 3,000 affordable homes will have a healthy living environment restored.

• A Vermont Air National Guard now capable of achieving its self-declared mission "to protect the citizens of Vermont" because it operates low-noise-level equipment with a proven high safety record compatible with its location in a densely populated city.

James Marc Leas

South Burlington

Next-Generation Activists

[Re Off Message: "Walters: Thousands Attend March for Our Lives Rally in Montpelier," March 24]: On March 24, I watched with tears of hope and pride as the youth of America reclaimed our government. As a child of the '50s and '60s, I remember our antiwar and reproductive rights marches across the nation that brought real change. But this teen movement is even more robust. These kids are more poised, articulate, connected and diverse than we were; their colors, dialects and histories prove that America is, indeed, a melting pot and that our kids are, indeed, all right. I thank whatever gods may be that the shameful, good-old-boy white network of people cowering in Congress for fear of losing their privilege will soon be replaced by these young people. As we sang decades ago and as Jennifer Hudson so powerfully sang that Saturday, "The times, they are a-changin'." Yes, it appears they finally are.

To our teenagers: Don't let the bastards — or the system — beat you down. They will try, mightily, and for a long time. But my generation stopped a war and brought all American women birth control and reproductive choice. Now we look to you for commonsense gun laws and economic and gender equality.

If we needed proof that you have the stamina, intelligence, organization and determination to justify our trust in you, we got it on March 24.

Kathy Hollen


Copypasta That

The majority of the text in Lisa Hayne's letter to the editor has been circling the internet for several years as a "copypasta" — aka a copy-and-paste meme [Feedback: "Armed, but Not Dangerous," March 21]. The earliest posting I could find was in December 2015 on the Modern Libertarian's Facebook page. This post attributes the quote to Brian Cerny.

What I find interesting is the portion that Haynes omitted when claiming these words as her own. The original post states: "I may get shot before I can pull the trigger ... but, I won't die in a helpless blubbering heap on the floor begging for my life or my child's life." This line has rightly been called out by many as insensitive. Perhaps Haynes agrees.

Personally, I agree with comedian Nate Borgman, who wrote on Reddit in February 2018: "They say the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun ... but I think that's just someone who wants to sell two guns." Borgman, by the way, was also plagiarized by Tom Boylan, whose tweet subsequently went viral.

If we can't agree on gun-control measures, can we at least agree to cite others' words correctly?

Megan Butterfield


Defending Victims

[Re Feedback: "Armed, but Not Dangerous," March 21]: I always look forward to reading the letters to the editor in Seven Days because I'm always learning new things from other Vermonters, getting personal insights into the stories they share or getting a different opinion about an article that was published.

So I was very disappointed two weeks ago to find this old sad piece of copypasta, which always reappears on the internet after mass shootings. This is not an opinion, a story or even an original thought; it's a bullshit, regurgitated fantasy.

There are many other slightly altered versions of this "letter" that all conclude saying, "I won't die helpless, begging for my life as a victim of a massacre," or "I won't die in a helpless blubbering heap on the floor begging for my life or my child's life."

Many of the victims of violent crimes committed in this country die heroic deaths, the kind of deaths dreamt about by the woman who "wrote" this letter and sent it to the paper, saving others from certain peril. I'm certain that many of them also die screaming in pain, begging for their loved ones, their children, their parents or their God.

Regardless, all of them were innocent victims, and to label them as helpless and begging for their lives is beyond insensitive, regardless of how you feel about gun laws in this country.

Chris Bowe


Editor's note: Seven Days verifies the identity of letter writers — by phone — and often edits their feedback for clarity. Sorry this plagiarism got past us.

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