Applaud for the British and their calm resolve

I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the July 11 Opinion piece by Gerard DeGroot, "Londoners' behavior gives confidence to the fearful." Tears welled in my eyes as I read it.

I was in London, on holiday, when the attacks occurred. My husband and I lived in London from 1996 to 2002, so it was a return trip "home" for me. My two children were born there as well, so the city and its people hold a special place in my heart.

This article couldn't have been more accurate. Just watching the news myself, while safe at a friend's home, I too marveled at the calm of the people. It was almost surreal that this had actually happened.

And I think too, that the British people should know how much we respect them, not only for their calm, but for the fact that they were not quick to blame the US, or their government's support of the US, for the horrific acts.

I want to applaud Mr. DeGroot for his inspiring article.
Heather K. Johnson

Careful labeling for sex offenders needed

As a father of three young, preteen daughters, I appreciate the July 11 article, "States step up efforts to track sex offenders." But I find your reporting of "sexual offenders" along with "violent sexual predators," in the same article, a bit disturbing.

I do not want a violent sexual predator ever to leave jail once convicted.

On the other hand, I find the violation of civil liberties imposed on sex offenders equally disturbing.

In some states, a sexual offense could be an unwanted touching of a woman's breast. That could be a gauche mistake, but criminal nonetheless.

Why not just keep the "violent sexual predators" behind bars and let those who served their time in jail as "sex offenders" try to lead normal and productive lives?
Bryan K. Zidek
Columbia, Md.

I found the June 11 article about tracking sex offenders disappointing. As a registered and convicted sex offender myself, I don't understand why I still have to pay for the effects of my crime beyond prison.

It is not the treated sex offenders being released that we should be worried about; it's the ones in our community who are not caught yet.

Society wants to spend tax dollars on keeping track of sex offenders. What about funding for treatment or education to help stop sexual offenses? That's what I could have used and what I needed before I offended.

We do not notify the community if a 15-time drunk driver moves in.

Do I have the right to know that the person living next door has been convicted of robbery? Should I then always keep my doors locked?

What society needs is to forgive and help those who need help, so there are no more victims.

The best thing society can do to help the sex offenders being released is to talk with them.

Pushing them away and making it harder to live is not helping them in any way. We all need to be there for one another.
Kevin Holcomb
Oshkosh Correctional Institution
Oshkosh, Wis.

Tour de France for nonprofessionals

Responding to the July 8 article, "How hard is the Tour de France? Ask our spandexed scribe": Thanks to Peter Ford for his superb first-person account of riding just a teeny-weeny bit of the Tour de France.

It has been instructive to me that the tour riders average a higher speed on flat land than the speed that frightens me going down a hill!
Tom Charles
Princeton, N.J.

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