Letters to the Editor

Ways to curb gun violence

Gun violence is still a major problem in our country today. Reading and watching extremely negative news stories is getting tiresome. Some of the violence stems from the escalation of coronavirus. The spread of coronavirus disease really put a damper on the way of living. There is also a communication gap. More transparency has to be done between all people.

Actions from local townships, boroughs, municipalities that help toward this gun violence crisis are continuing to bridge the gap between police and community citizens. Meaning, more police officers should know people they are policing in the community in a positive way, to make the environment where civilians live feel safer. Bringing more sources of revenue.

Recently through the state government, there are specific gun legislation bills created that can help decrease gun violence in our communities. Some bills were passed but others have not passed.

These bills are as follows:

First bill, HB 1018, is to create Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) to prevent firearm suicides, mass shootings and domestic violence homicides. This bill passed 102-99. Allows law enforcement to temporarily seize firearms from someone deemed by a judge to be an immediate threat to themselves or others, otherwise known as a “red-flag” bill.

Second bill, HB 714, is to enact universal background checks to stop weapons of war from getting into the wrong hands by closing a gap in PA’s system that allows long guns to be privately purchased or transferred without a background check. This bill passed 109-92. (aka close the so-called gun show loophole by expanding background checks to include private purchases of long guns.)

A third bill, HB 338, which would require the reporting of lost and stolen firearms within 3 days, to reduce the flow of illegal guns fueling community-based violence, narrowly failed by a one vote margin of 101-100.

A fourth bill, HB 731, which would require the safe storage of guns in the home to prevent school shootings, suicides and unintentional shootings, was advanced at second consideration.

Alim Howell

Protect the environment, for children’s sake

At a time when our environment is being damaged from all sides, it was encouraging to read of a recent meeting between state Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler and second-grade students from one of our local schools (“Coppin students, Fiedler meet on environment,” June 7).

The main topic of that meeting on May 26 at Columbus Square with young children from the Fanny Jackson Coppin Elementary School was about their legitimate worries about accidents like chemical spills and how to protect the world they will inherit.

Of course, these young students were inspired and instructed by their teacher Kate Atkins to write letters to Gov. Josh Shapiro as well as share their concerns with activist state legislators like Rep. Fiedler.

We can only hope and pray that more of our leaders will work together diligently to protect the environment where all children will remain healthy and feel safe.

Gloria C. Endres