These are the stories we will tell ourselves about the shooting in Buffalo | Column, May 20
Years ago I was transferred to Toronto until moving back to St. Pete in 2007. My wife — a Canadian — was apprehensive about moving to the United States. I reassured her that in spite of some obvious problems, the country was dealing with them. Fast forward to May 2022. Mass shootings seem to occur weekly. Conspiracy theories believed by a third of the country. A million deaths from COVID, many unnecessary, fed by anti-vaxxers. A governor playing on our worst instincts. A Congress growing more dysfunctional by the day. Election deniers not believing Joe Biden is president. A country about to remove the constitutional right to safe and legal abortions. Where many do not recognize our racist history. With a broken immigration system and politicians who honor the Confederacy. I do recognize many wonderful things. But unless we restore civil discourse, put our energies toward solving our problems, and start trusting each other I am afraid we will experience even darker days.
Paul C. Carder, St. Petersburg
Tearing us apart
Oklahoma lawmakers pass bill to ban abortions after moment of ‘fertilization’ | May 20
Oklahoma has become the latest state to pass a draconian bill that prevents women from having freedom to control their own bodies. National polls have shown that the majority of the population would prefer that abortions remain legal, yet the patchwork of states restricting abortions shows that we are becoming a nation of freedoms only for those with the power to restrict the freedoms of others. This isn’t democracy, and I’d wager it stands to tear our country apart.
Betsy Clement, Dunedin
What we won’t know
Why did Florida pull out of important survey of teenagers? | Editorial, May 19
It is absolutely no surprise that Florida will not be participating in the CDC survey in school behaviors as it has done for years. The national survey would give a true, non-biased opinion on what is happening. It would allow Floridians to see how our schools compare to others throughout the nation.
By doing our own survey, Florida officials can report only what they want to report. They can skew the results in their favor. They can make the issues that many see as negative — such as the “don’t say gay bill,” not teaching CRT, lack of mental health care for students — seem positive and widely accepted. Shame on these officials.
Marilyn S. Warner, Clearwater