Forum, Aug. 2: Evil Fantasies Thrive in Isolation

Wednesday, August 01, 2018
Evil Fantasies Thrive in Isolation

As I read the editorial proposing “threat response teams” for schools (“Preventing Tragedies: Schools Should Form ‘Threat Teams,’ ” July 21), I kept wondering what has changed to make this necessary?

I don’t dispute the potential benefits of such teams. I’m just remembering a time from 50 and 60 years ago when life was much different. Many kids had easy access to guns. It was not unusual to see a kid walking down the street with a rifle on his way to the woodchuck fields or the squirrel woods. Our family’s guns hung on a rack over the piano.

I went to Britt’s department store to buy guns as a teenager with my meager savings. A military 7.65mm Argentine Mauser could be had for much less than a good bicycle and, as I recall, a box of 20 rounds of ammo cost more than the gun. The clerk in the sporting goods department knew me and my family well. I, and every other kid, knew that if we messed up and did anything bad with a gun the world as we knew it would end forever. No “threat response teams” needed.

Now, people who shoot competitively for a hobby, as well as anti-gun people and gun-agnostic people, are wondering, “What is going on?” There is something broad and systemic happening in modern society to make the unthinkable all too possible.

We had a few kids in school back then who seemed a bit unhinged and may have contemplated violent actions, but perhaps the fear of retribution and lack of peer support kept them in check. Today, there are worlds online and in social media where people can exchange their evil fantasies in isolation, undetected by society at large. Secret lairs where bad things are plotted are virtual, not physical.

We have to rebuild a community with meaningful connections among all peoples in open conversation. Evil things fester in the shadows.

Peter R. Magoon


A Voice on Behalf of Vermont

I take pleasure in, once again, affirming and endorsing the candidacy of our Vermont congressman, Peter Welch, in the primary election on Aug. 14 and in the general election on Nov. 6.

I’ve watched Peter in state and federal legislative office for nearly 30 years and have had ample chance to hear his reasoned and progressive voice on behalf of Vermont and the nation, and his efforts to find consensus across the aisle. We can only hope he will be joined by more colleagues in his own sturdy efforts.

Vote to keep Peter Welch in Congress.

Christopher Harris


Other Rights on Chopping Block?

As a lifelong Vermonter, I am very concerned with the way things are going in this state.

For too long we have had too much complacency in politics. It seems there are many Vermonters who think we are a free state with very little gun violence and we have thought that no laws would be put into place to take away our Second Amendment and Article 16 rights that have been guaranteed to us by our constitutions.

What other rights will be put on the chopping block this coming legislative session?

I urge everyone to go out and vote this year. No longer can we sit by and allow these liberty- and freedom-grabbing politicians take from us our rights and tax us to death. Question your local and statewide candidates, find out their views and what they stand for, do your part to be informed and know what is going on for the sake of you, me and future generations of Vermonters.

Marc Covey

South Royalton

What ‘Destructive Republican Rule’?

Sunday’s editorial said Democrats must “loosen the grip of terribly destructive Republican rule in Washington before the country is irretrievably damaged,” (“The Soul of the Party: What the Democrats Need to Do,” July 29).

Let us count the ways: 4.1 percent growth in GDP, record low unemployment in virtually all demographic groups, taxes cut, inflation in check, ISIS decimated, NATO financially stronger, the prospect of peace with North Korea, Iran weakened by sanctions, et al.

What in the world are you talking about?

Jeff Lehmann

Lyme Center

MAGA Revisited

During the 2016 election, I didn’t get the “Make America Great Again” thing. Or at least I never heard Donald Trump clearly state his vision of what made a country “great.” A year and a half later, it’s now crystal clear.

A country is great when:

It’s badly divided, and its leader has neither the skills nor the inclination to unite it.

It insults its allies and declares economic war on them.

It fails to honor its international agreements and abandons the promotion of human rights and democracy.

Its leader is a liar, a bully, a troll, a racist, a misogynist, a xenophobe and an Islamophobe.

It rolls back regulations that protect its citizens’ health, rights as consumers and the environment, ignoring the Office of Management and Budget’s assessment that the benefits of regulations far outweigh the costs.

Its leader is sued by a porn star.

Its leadership seeks to undermine the existing health care system without providing a viable alternative.

It has a pandering, useless, partisan national legislature.

Its leader is the greatest source of fake news in the country.

Its leadership is AWOL on the drug crisis, global warming and school shootings.

Its leader kowtows to strong leaders from hostile nations.

Its Christian citizens declare they have a “dream President” — who shows contempt for the Ten Commandments and for the biblical call to protect the poor, the foreigner and God’s creation.

Are we “Great Again”? What I see is a morally diminished, mean-spirited, reckless and isolated country. In November, we’ll all have our say.

Allan MacDonald

New London

Supporting Gov. Scott

Political courage is an increasingly rare commodity these days. Vermont Gov. Phil Scott signed responsible gun legislation, rather than allow it to become law without his signature.

There’s a primary on Aug. 14 and, even though I often disagree with the governor, I plan to support him. The NRA would love to see him lose. Vermonters can use this primary to make their feelings on reasonable gun legislation known.

Steve Tofel

T​hetford Center