Readers write: Local journalism and responsible gun ownership

Letters to the editor for the June 14, 2021 weekly magazine. Readers discuss newspaper subscriptions and how to incentivize firearm training.

Staff

When subscriptions collide

Thank you for the May 17 Weekly article “‘Real journalism.’ Inside the battle to save local newspapers” about my local paper! I am a subscriber to both The Christian Science Monitor and The Brunswick News. I have never been a big news reader, but 2020 changed me. I realized it was essential for me to stay in touch with our local and national news. The Brunswick News does provide local information that I would have no other way of knowing, and I have found it responsive to letters I have written. I agree completely with the premise that local news supports democracy. I think I’ll send The Brunswick News a donation today.

Lenore Hervey
Jekyll Island, Georgia

Confronting colonialism

The title of your May 17 Daily article “For Hamas, the war is in Gaza, but Jerusalem is the prize,” surely needs to be reconsidered. A more accurate title to reflect recent events might read “Palestinians throughout historic Palestine rise to confront the existential threat posed by Israel.”

For Palestinians, May 2021 (the 73rd anniversary of Israel’s establishment) will be remembered as the month when Israel launched a particularly savage attack against Palestinians – killing multigenerational families in Gaza, attacking worshippers in Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan, and targeting families in Sheikh Jarrah for expulsion.

Palestinian farmers, in particular, know this well and contend with ongoing assaults, ranging from the confiscation of their land to the deliberate destruction of their trees. 

To a culture that defines itself by its closeness to the land and that regards trees as manifestations of God’s bounty and goodness, the act of killing fruit-bearing trees is especially cruel; when families depend on a harvest to support them through the year, the destruction of groves and fields makes life unsustainable. People who can’t feed themselves will be at the mercy of those who feel entitled to “put the Palestinians on a diet,” the euphemism used by government adviser Dov Weisglass to limit food into besieged Gaza, a policy that has been in effect since 2006. Such colonial practices and aims, barbaric in any age, have no place in the 21st century.

Ida Audeh
Centreville, Virginia

Responsible gun ownership

In the May 24 Weekly article “Meet the gun owners who support (some) gun control,” Tom O’Connor’s comment that “rights change over time” concerns me greatly. This country was founded on the principle that we, the people, enjoy certain God-given rights, not rights issued by the government. The right to self-defense and the right to owning the implements necessary to protect this country against an oppressive government are some of the most important rights we have. It is not up to public opinion, which is easily swayed by the “crisis du jour,” which of those God-given rights should be allowed.

There are other solutions available. Why not incentivize more responsible firearm ownership? One idea I proposed to my federal representative and senators, notably without response other than the typical form letter, was to provide a 100% tax credit on all firearms training annually. That would allow firearm owners the opportunity to increase their competency, proficiency, and understanding of the systems they own. Another proposal was to provide a 100% tax credit on the cost of acquiring firearm storage.

Because they’ve chosen not to respond, I don’t know what my elected representatives think of these ideas. Importantly, these ideas preserve individual freedom of choice and promote personal responsibility.

Bill Schneider
Bristow, Virginia

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.