In response to your publication April 27 of the winning student essays in the “Caty Armstrong Memorial Law Day Essay Contest: Why every vote matters”: It is good to see how young Americans view their constitutional rights. Each of the essay winners pointed to the fact that voter fraud is almost nonexistent.
There is no sure way of ensuring a nonfraudulent vote, no matter how many laws are passed. But there are multitudes of ways to supress the vote.
I have no objection to voter identification, if it is implemented over time in a way that is of no cost or inconvenience to voters. But cutting the number of polling places and hours in which to vote early are unacceptable and the reasons for doing so are dubious.
Thanks to first-place essay winners Samuel Zack, Donovan DeMilt, and Claire Kohler for their thoughtful insights.
Fret about guns? Just stay home
There have been discussions about allowing firearms in schools, churches, government buildings, and bars — each of which has the option not to allow firearms (“Unarmed America under the gun,” op-ed column, April 30). It’s still a free country.
For those who have a problem with firearms in places that allow them, the solution is simple: Stay home.
Concealed-carry logic on target
I asked a friend with a concealed-carry permit why he carries a gun. He replied: “Because a policeman is too heavy.”
In these days of law-enforcement cutbacks and continued crime, that makes perfect sense to me.
Work ethic alone won’t solve issue
The writer of the April 15 Readers’ Forum letter “A racial divide? Get work ethic” proposed that the solution to improving the lives of children of color and addressing generational poverty is a work ethic. This overly simplistic view of the inequalities in our society only perpetuates the problem. This blanket condemnation of an entire segment of our society needs to stop.
Few would argue with the values of the American work ethic. People from all walks of society could use more of this ethic, and do their jobs with a little more care and concern. But rags to riches stories, in which someone pulls out of grinding poverty by sheer hard work and determination, are rare.
The solution to our social divide lies with a complex group of initiatives. If we had universal pre-kindergarten, if all children then attended high-quality public schools, if we had affordable higher education, if we provided incentives to industry to invest in troubled communities, if people had employment options for which they were prepared, over the next decade we’d see a reduction in the social divide.
But all of that is expensive. As a society, we lack the will to make it happen. It is easier and cheaper to blame the victims and point out the abusers in the current system.